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Full text of "A history of the work of redemption. Containing the outlines of a body of divinity in a method entirely new"



HISTORY 



OP THE 



WORK OF REDEMPTION 



CONTAINING THE 



OUTLINES OF A BODY OF DIVINITY 



IN A METHOD ENTIRELY NEW, 



BY THE LATE 

REV. JONATHAN EDWARDS, 

PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY. 



Copied accurately from the third American edition, printed in Worcester 
Massachusetts. 



PHILADELPHIA : 
PRESBYTERIAN BOARD OF PUBLICATION. 



BT 

775 






1 12S6 






A ": e - 
if i * 



PKEFACE 



IT has long been desired by the friends of Mr. 
Edwards, that a number of his manuscripts should 
be published; but the disadvantage under which 
all posthumous publications must necessarily ap 
pear, and the difficulty of getting any considerable 
work printed in this infant country hitherto, have 
proved sufficient obstacles to the execution of such 
a proposal. The first of these obstacles made me 
doubt, for a considerable time after these manu 
scripts came into my hands, whether I could, con 
sistently with that regard which I owe to the hon 
our of so worthy a parent, suffer any of them to 
appear in the world. However, being diffident of 
my own sentiments, and doubtful whether I were 
not over jealous in this matter, I determined to 
submit to the opinion of gentlemen, who are friends 
both to the character of Mr. Edwards and to the 
cause of truth. The consequence was, that they 
gave their advice for publishing them. 

The other obstacle was removed by a gentleman 
in the church of Scotland, who was formerly a cor 
respondent of Mr. Edwards. He engaged a book- 

iii 



IV PREFACE. 

seller to undertake the work, and also signified his 
desire that these following discourses in particular 
might be made public. 

Mr. Edwards had planned a body of divinity, in 
a new method, and in the form of a history ; in 
which he was first to show, how the most remarka 
ble events, in all ages from the fall to the present 
times, recorded in sacred and profane history, were 
adapted to promote the work of redemption ; and 
then to trace, by the light of scripture prophecy, 
how the same work should be yet further carried 
on even to the end of the world. His heart was 
so much set on executing this plan, that he was 
considerably averse to accept the presidentship of 
Princeton college, lest the duties of that office should 
put it out of his power. 

The outlines of that work are now offered to the 
public, as contained in a series of sermons, preached 
at Northampton in 1739,* without any view to 
publication. On that account, the reader cannot 
reasonably expect all that from them, which he 
might justly have expected, had they been written 
with such a view, and prepared by the Author s 
own hand for the press. 

As to elegance of composition, which is now 
esteemed so essential to all publications, it is 
well known, that the Author did not make that 
his chief study. However, his other writings, 
though destitute of the ornaments of fine lan- 

* This is necessary to be remembered by the reader, in order 
o understand some chronological observations in the follow 
aig work. 



PREFACE. V 

guage, have it seems that solid merit, which has 
procured both to themselves and to him a consider 
able reputation in the world, and with many an 
high esteem. It is hoped that the reader will find 
in these discourses many traces of plain good sense, 
sound reasoning, and thorough knowledge of the 
sacred oracles, and real unfeigned piety : and that, 
as the plan is new, and many of the sentiments 
uncommon, they may afford entertainment and 
improvement to the ingenious, the inquisitive, and 
the pious reader ; may confirm their faith in God s 
government of the world, in our holy Christian 
religion in general, and in many of its peculiar doc 
trines; may assist in studying with greater plea 
sure and advantage the historical and prophetical 
books of scripture ; and may excite to a conversa 
tion becoming the gospel. 

That this volume may produce these happy 
effects in all who shall peruse it, is the hearty 
desire and prayer of the reader s most humble 
servant, 

JONATHAN EDWARDS. 
New Haven, Feb. 25, 1773. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



THEY who have a relish for the study of the scrip 
tures, and have access to peruse the following 
sheets, will, I am persuaded, deem themselves 
much indebted to the Reverend Mr. Edwards of 
New Haven for consenting to publish them. 
Though the acute philosopher and deep divine 
appears in them, yet they are in the general better 
calculated for the instruction and improvement of 
ordinary Christians, than those of President Ed- 
wards s writings, where the abstruse nature of the 
subject, or the subtle objections of opposers of the 
truth, led him to more abstract and metaphysical 
reasonings. The manuscript being entrusted to 
my care, I have not presumed to make any change 
in the sentiments or composition. I have, how 
ever, taken the liberty to reduce it from the form 
of sermons, which it originally bore, to that of a 
continued treatise; and I have so altered and 
diversified the marks of the several divisions and 
subdivisions, that each class of heads might be 
easily distinguished. 

JOHN ERSKINE. 

Edinburgh, April 29, 1774. 

vii 



CONTENTS. 



Page 
GBNEHAL Introduction, ----- 13 

PERIOD I. 

From the fall to the incarnation of Christ, 27 

PART I. 
From the fall to the flood, ... 28 

PART II. 
From the flood to the calling of Abraham, - - 46 

PART III. 
From the calling of Abraham to Moses, - 54 

PART IV. 
From Moses to David, - 68 

PART V. 
From David to the Babylonish captivity, - - 93 

PART VI. 

From the Babylonish captivity to the coming of Christ, 124 
IMPROVEMENT. 

Inspiration, excellency, and usefulness of the books of 

the Old Testament, &c. - - - 157 

ix 



X CONTENTS. 

Pago 
PERIOD II. 

The time of Christ s humiliation, - - 169 

PART I. 

Of Christ s becoming incarnate to capacitate himself 

for the purchase of redemption, - 170 

PART H. 

Of the purchase itself, - 178 

SECTION I. 
What is intended by Christ s purchasing redemption, 178 

SECTION II. 

General observations concerning those things by which 

this purchase was made, - - - -179 

SECTION III. 

The obedience and sufferings by which Christ pur 
chased redemption particularly considered, - - IdSJ 

IMPROVEMENT. 
SECTION I. 

Reproof of unbelief, self-righteousness, and careless 
neglect of salvation, ----- 202 

SECTION II. 

Encouragement to burdened souls to trust in Christ for 

salvation, - - - - - -211 

PERIOD III. 
From Christ s resurrection to the end of the world, - 213 



CONTENTS. Z 

Page 
INTRODUCTION. 

General observations concerning this period, - 214 

PART I. 

Of those things whereby Christ was put into an imme 
diate capacity for accomplishing the ends of his pur 
chase, - - - - - 224 

PART II. 

How Christ accomplished this success, - 228 

SECTION I. 

How this success is accomplished by God s grace here, 228 
I. The means of this success established after Christ s 

resurrection, ------ 228 

II. The success itself, .... 229 

FIRST, In the suffering state of the church, from the 

resurrection of Christ to the fall of Antichrist, - 235 

I. From Christ s resurrection until the destruction of 
Jerusalem, -*--- 237 

II. From the destruction of Jerusalem to the destruc 
tion of the heathen empire in the time of Constan- 

tine the Great, - 246 

INFERENCE, Truth of Christianity argued from the suc 
cess of the gospel in both these periods, - - 256 

III. Success of redemption from the time of Constan- 

tine the Great until the fall of Antichrist, - 259 

1st, From Constantine until the rise of Antichrist, - 260 

2dly, From the rise of Antichrist until the Reformation, 264 

3dly, From the Reformation until the present time, - 272 

1. Of the Reformation itself, - - - 273 

2. Of the opposition which the devil has made to the 
interests of religion in the churches of the Reforma 
tion, - - - - - 275 

3. What success the gospel has lately had in these 
churches, - .... 282 

4. Present state of things with regard to the success 

of the gospel, - - - 286 



Xi CONTENTS. 

APPLICATION. 

1. Truth of Christianity argued from the events of this 
period, - 290 

2. The spirit of true Christians a spirit of suffering, - 300 

3. What reason we have to expect that events fore 
told in scripture, not yet fulfilled, shall be accom 
plished, - - 301 

4. How the success of redemption shall be carried 

on from the present time until Antichrist is fallen, - 302 

SECONDLY, Success of redemption through that space 
wherein the Christian church shall for the most 
part enjoy prosperity. - - 318 

I. Prosperity of the church through the greater part 

of this period, - 319 

II. The great apostasy that shall take place, and the 
danger that shall threaten the church towards the 

end of this period, ----- 325 

SECTIOW H. 
/ 

How the success of redemption shall be accomplished 

in glory, ------ 328 

General remarks on this success, ... 329 
The particular manner in which this success is ac 
complished, ------ 330 

IMPROVEMENT OF THE WHOLE. 

I. How great a work the work of redemption is, - 344 

II. God the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end 
ing of all things, - - 347 

III. Christ in all things has the preeminence, - 

IV. The consistency, order, and beauty of providence, 350 

V. The scriptures the word of God, - - 351 

VI. The majesty and power of God in the work of re 
demption, - - ... 353 

VII. The glorious wisdom of God in the work of re 
demption, - .... 355 

VIII. The stability of God s mercy and faithfulness to 

his people, - - 355 

IX. How happy a society the church of Christ is, - 356 

X. The misery of those that are not interested in Christ, 357 



HISTORY 



OF THE 



WORK OF REDEMPTION 



* For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall 
eat them like wool : but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my 
salvation from generation to generation." Isaiah li. 8. 

THE design of this chapter is to comfort the church 
under her sufferings, and the persecutions of her ene 
mies ; and the argument of consolation insisted on is, 
the constancy and perpetuity of God s mercy and faith 
fulness towards her, which shall be manifest in con 
tinuing to work salvation for her, protecting her against 
all assaults of her enemies, and carrying her safely 
through all the changes of the world, and finally 
crowning her with victory and deliverance. 

In the text, this happiness of the church of God is set 
forth by comparing it with the contrary fate of her 
enemies that oppress her. And therein we ma) - ob 
serve, 

1. How short lived the power and prosperity of the 
church s enemies is : " The moth shall eat them up like 
a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool ;" i. e. 
however great their prosperity is, and however great 
their present glory, they shall by degrees consume and 
vanish away by a secret curse of God, until they come 
to nothing; and all their power and glory, and so theii 
persecutions, eternally cease, and they be finally and 
irrecoverably ruined, as the finest and most glorious 
apparel will in time wear away, and be consumed by 
moths and rottenness. We learn who those are that 
2 13 



14 A HISTORY OF THE 

shall thus consume away, by the foregoing verse, viz. 
those that are the enemies of God s people: "Hearken 
unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in 
whose heart is my law ; fear ye not the reproach of men, 
neither be ye afraid of their revilings." 

2. The contrary happy lot and portion of God s 
church, expressed in these words, "My righteousness 
shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to 
generation." Who are meant as those that shall have 
the benefit of this, we also learn by the preceding verse, 
viz. They "that know righteousness," and "the people 
in whose heart is God s law ;" or, in one word, the church 
of God. And concerning this happiness of theirs here 
spoken of, we may observe two things, viz. 1. Wherein 
it consists ; 2. Its continuance. 

(1.) Wherein it consists, viz. In God s righteousness 
and salvation towards them. By God s righteousness 
here, is meant his faithfulness in fulfilling his covenant 
promises to his church, or his faithfulness towards his 
church and people in bestowing the benefits of the cove 
nant of grace upon them ; which benefits, though they 
are bestowed of free and sovereign grace, as being 
altogether undeserved ; yet as God has been pleased, 
by the promises of the covenant of grace, to bind him 
self to bestow them, so they are bestowed in the exer 
cise of God s righteousness or justice. And therefore 
the Apostle says, Heb. vi. 10. "God is not unrighteous, 
to forget your work and labour of love." And so, 1 John 
i. 9. " If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to for 
give us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteous 
ness." So the word righteousness, is very often used in 
Scripture for God s covenant faithfulness; so it is used 
in Nehem. ix. 8. "Thou hast performed thy words, for 
thou art righteous." So we are often to understand 
righteousness and covenant mercy for the same thing; 
as Psal. xxiv. 5. "He shall receive the blessing from the 
Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation." 
Psal. xxxvi. 10. " Continue thy loving kindness to them 
that know thee, and thy righteousness to the upright in 
heart." And Psal. li. 14. " Deliver me from blood guilti 
ness, O God, thou God of my salvation : and my tongue 
shall sing aloud of thy righteousness." Dan. ix. 16. " O 
Lord, according to thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let 
thine anger and thy fury be turned away." And so in 
innumerable other places. 

The other word here used is salvation. Of these two 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 15 

God s righteousness and his salvation, the one is the 
cause, of which the other is the effect. God s righteous 
ness, or covenant mercy, is the root of which his salva 
tion is the fruit. Both of them relate to the covenant of 
grace. The one is God s covenant mercy and faithful 
ness, the other intends that work of God by which this 
covenant mercy is accomplished in the fruits of it. For 
salvation is the sum of all those works of God by which 
the benefits that are by the covenant of grace are pro 
cured and bestowed. 

2. We may observe its continuance, signified here by 
two expressions ; for ever, and from generation to gene 
ration. The latter seems to be explanatory of the for 
mer. The phrase for ever, is variously used in scrip 
ture. Sometimes thereby is meant as long as a man 
lives. So it is said, the servant that has his ear bored 
through with an awl to the door of his master, should 
be his for ever. Sometimes thereby is meant during 
the continuance of the Jewish state. So of many of the 
ceremonial and Levitical laws it is said, that they should 
be statutes for ever. Sometimes it means as long as 
the world shall stand, or to the end of the generations 
of men. So it is said, Eccles. i. 4, " One generation pas- 
seth away, and another cometh; but the earth abideth 
for ever." Sometimes thereby is meant to all eternity. 
So it is said, " God is blessed for ever" Rom. i. 25. And 
so it is said, John vi. 51, "If any man eat of this bread, 
he shall live for ever." And which of these senses is 
here to be understood, the next words determine, viz. 
to the end of the world, or to the end of the generations 
of men. It is said in the next words, " and my salvation 
from generation to generation" Indeed the fruits of 
God s salvation shall remain after the end of the world, 
as appears by the 6th verse : * Lift up your eyes to 
the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: For the 
heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth 
shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein 
shall die in like manner, but my salvation shall be for 
ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished." But 
the work of salvation itself toward the church shall con 
tinue to be wrought until then: until the end of the 
world God will go on to accomplish deliverance and sal 
vation for the church, from all her enemies ; for that is 
what the prophet is here speaking of; until the end of the 
world, until her enemies cease to be, as to any power 
to molest the church. And this expression, " from gene- 



16 A HISTORY OF THE 

ration to generation," may determine us as to the time 
which God continues to carry on the work of salvation 
for his church, both with respect to the beginning and 
end. It is from generation to generation, i. e. through 
out all generations ; beginning with the generations of 
men on the earth, and not ending until these generations 
end, at the end of the world. And therefore we deduce 
from these words this 



DOCTRINE. 

THE WORK OF REDEMPTION IS A WORK THAT GOD CARRIES 
ON FROM THE FALL OF MAN TO THE END OF THE WORLD. 

THE generations of mankind on the earth did not 
begin until after the fall. The beginning of the poste 
rity of our first parents was after the fall ; for all their 
posterity, by ordinary generation, are partakers of the 
fall, and of the corruption of nature that followed from 
it ; and these generations, by which the human race is 
propagated, shall continue to the end of the world. So 
these two are the limits of the generations of men on the 
earth ; the fall of man the beginning ; and the end of the 
world, or the day of judgment, the end. The same are 
the limits of the work of redemption as to those progres 
sive works of God, by which that redemption is brought 
about and accomplished, though not as to the fruits of it; 
for they, as was said before, shall be to all eternity. 

The work of redemption and the work of salvation 
are the same thing. What is sometimes in scripture 
called God s saving his people, is in other places called 
his redevming them. So Christ is called both the Saviour 
and the Redeemer of his people. 

Before entering on the proposed History of the Work 
of Redemption, I would 

1. Explain the terms made use of in the doctrine; 
and, 

2. Show what those things are that are designed tc 
be accomplished by this great work of God. 

First, I would show in what sense the terms of the 
doctrine are used. And, 1. I would show how I would 
be understood when I use the word redemption; and, 
2. How I would be understood when I say, this work is 
a work of God carried on from the fall of man to the end 
of the world. 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 17 

I. I would show how I would be understood when I 
use the word redemption. And here it may be observed, 
that the work of redemption is sometimes understood in 
a more limited sense, for the purchase of salvation; for 
so the word strictly signifies, a purchase of deliverance; 
and if we take the word in this restrained sense, the 
work of redemption was not so long in doing. But it 
was begun and finished with Christ s humiliation. It 
was all wrought while Christ was upon earth. It was 
begun with Christ s incarnation, and carried on through 
Christ s life, and finished with his death, or the time of 
his remaining under the power of death, which ended in 
his resurrection. And so we say, that the day of Christ s 
resurrection is the day when Christ finished the work 
of redemption, i. e. then the purchase was finished, and 
the work itself, and all that appertained to it, was vir 
tually done and finished, but not actually. 

But then sometimes the work of redemption is taken 
more largely, including all that God works or accom 
plishes tending to this end ; not only the purchasing of 
redemption, but also all God s works that were properly 
preparatory to the purchase, or as applying the purchase 
and accomplishing the success of it. So that the whole 
dispensation, as it includes the preparation and the pur 
chase, and the application and success of Christ s re 
demption, is here called the work of redemption. All 
that Christ does in this great affair as mediator, in any 
of his offices, either of prophet, priest, or king ; either 
when he was in this world, in his human nature, or be 
fore, or since ; and not only what Christ the mediator 
has done, but also what the Father, or the Holy Ghost, 
has done, as united or confederated in this design of 
redeeming sinful men ; or, in one word, all that is 
wrought in the execution of the eternal covenant of re 
demption ; this is what I call the work of redemption in 
the doctrine ; for it is all but one work, one design. The 
various dispensations or works that belong to it, are but 
the several parts of one scheme. It is but one design 
that is formed, to which all the offices of Christ do 
directly tend, and in which all the persons of the Trinity 
do conspire, and all the various dispensations that belong 
to it are united ; and the several wheels are one machine, 
to answer one end, and produce one effect. 

II. When I say, this work is carried on from the fall 
of man to the end of the world ; in order to the full un- 

2* 



Jo A HISTORY OP THE 

derstanding of my meaning in it, I would desire two or 
three things to be observed. 

1. That it is not meant, that nothing was done in 
order to it before the fall of man. There were many 
things done in order to this work of redemption before 
that. Some things were done before the world was cre 
ated, yea from all eternity. The persons of the Trinity 
were as it were confederated in a design and a covenant 
of redemption ; in which covenant the Father had ap 
pointed the Son, and the Son had undertaken the work ; 
and all things to be accomplished in the work were stipu 
lated and agreed. And besides these, there were things 
done at the creation of the world, in order to that work, 
before man fell ; for the world itself seems to have been 
created in order to it. The work of creation was in 
order to God s works of providence. So that if it be 
inquired, Which of these kinds of works are the greatest, 
the works of creation or the works of providence! I an 
swer, the works of providence ; because God s works 
of providence are the end of his works of creation, as 
the building an house, or the forming an engine or ma 
chine, is for its use. But God s main work of provi 
dence is this great work of God that the doctrine speaks 
of, as may more fully appear hereafter. 

The creation of heaven was in order to the work of 
redemption : it was to be an habitation for the redeemed: 
Matt. xxv. 34. " Then shall the King say unto them on 
his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit 
the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of 
the world." Even the angels were created to be em 
ployed in this work. And therefore the apostle calls 
them, " ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them 
who shall be heirs of salvation," Heb. i. 14. As to this 
lower world, it was doubtless created to be a stage upon 
which this great and wonderful work of redemption 
should be transacted : and therefore, as might be shown, 
in many respects this lower world is wisely fitted, in the 
formation, for such a state of man as he is in since the 
fall, under a possibility of redemption ; so that when it 
is said, that the work of redemption is carried on from 
the fall of man to the end of the world, it is not meant, 
that all that ever was done in order to redemption has 
been done since the fall. Nor, 

2. Is it meant that there will be no remaining fruits of 
this work after the end of the world. The greatest 
fruits of all will be after that. That glory and blessed- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 19 

ness that will be the sum of all the fruits, will remain to 
nil the saints after that. The work of redemption is not 
an eternal work, i. e. it is not a work always a doing 
and never accomplished. But the fruits of this work are 
eternal fruits. The work has an issue. But in the issue 
the end will be obtained ; which end will never have an 
end. As those things that were in order to this work 
before the beginning of the world, as God s electing 
love, and the covenant of redemption, never had a be 
ginning ; so the fruits of this work, that shall be after 
the end of the world, never will have an end. And 
therefore, 

3. When it is said in the doctrine, that this is a work 
that God is carrying on from the fall of man to the end 
of the world, what I mean is, that those things that be 
long to this work itself, and are parts of this scheme, are 
all this while accomplishing. There are things that are 
in order to it that are before the beginning of it, and 
fruits of it that are after it is finished. But the work it 
self is so long a doing, even from the fall of man to the 
end of the world ; it is all this while a carrying on. It 
was begun immediately upon the fall, and will continue 
to the end of the world, and then will be finished. The 
various dispensations of God that are in this space, do 
belong to the same work, and to the same design, and 
have all one issue ; and therefore are all to be reckoned 
but as several parts of one work, as it were several suc 
cessive motions of one machine, to bring about in the 
conclusion one great event. 

And here also we must distinguish between the parts 
of redemption itself, and the parts of the work by which 
that redemption is wrought out. There is a difference 
between the parts of the benefits procured and bestow 
ed, and the parts of the work of God by which those 
benefits were procured and bestowed. As, for example, 
there is a difference between the parts of the benefit that 
the children of Israel received, consisting in their re 
demption out of Egypt, and the parts of that work of 
God by which this was wrought. The redemption of 
the children of Israel out of Egypt, considered as the 
benefit which they enjoyed, consisted of two parts, viz., 
their deliverance from their former Egyptian bondage 
and misery, and their being brought into a more happy 
state, as the servants of God, and heirs of Canaan. But 
there are many more things which are parts of that work 
of God which is called his work of redemption of Israel 



20 A HISTORY OP THE 

out of Egypt. To this belongs his calling of Moses, his 
sending him to Pharaoh, and all the signs and wonders 
he wrought in Egypt, and his bringing such terrible 
judgments on the Egyptians, and many other things. 

It is this work by which God effects redemption that 
we are speaking of. This work is carried on from the 
fall of man to the end of the world ; and it is so in two 
respects. 

(1) With respect to the effect wrought on the souls of 
the redeemed ; which is common to all ages from the 
fall of man to the end of the world. This effect that I 
here speak of, is the application of redemption with re 
spect to the souls of particular persons, in converting, 
justifying, sanctifying and glorifying of them. By these 
things the souls of particular persons are actually re 
deemed, and do receive the benefit of the work of re 
demption in its effect in their souls. And in this sense 
the work of redemption is carried on in all ages of the 
world, from the fall of man to the end of the world. 
The work of God in converting souls, opening blind 
eyes, unstopping deaf ears, raising dead souls to life, and 
rescuing the miserable captivated souls out of the hands 
of Satan, was begun soon after the fall of man, has been 
carried on in the world ever since to this day, and will 
be to the end of the world. God has always, ever 
since the first erecting of the church of the redeemed 
after the fall, had such a church in the world. Though 
oftentimes it has been reduced to a very narrow com- 

Eass and to low circumstances ; yet it has never wholly 
nled. 

And as God carries on the work of converting the 
souls of fallen men through all these ages, so he goes on 
to justify them, to blot out all their sins, and to accept 
them as righteous in his sight, through the righteousness 
of Christ, and adopt and receive them from being the 
children of Satan, to be his own children ; so also he 
goes on to sanctify, or to carry on the work of his grace, 
which he has begun in them, and to comfort them with 
the consolations of his Spirit, and to glprify them, to be 
stow upon them, when their bodies die, that eternal glory 
which is the fruit of the purchase of Christ. What is 
said, Rom. viii. 30, " Whom he did predestinate, them 
he also called ; and whom he called, them he also justi 
fied ; and whom he justified, them he also glorified :" I 
say this is applicable to all ages, from the fall, to the end 
of the world. 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 21 

The way that the work of redemption, with respect 
to these effects of it on the souls of the redeemed, is car 
ried on from the fall to the end of the world, is by re 
peating and continually working the same work over 
again, though in different persons, from age to age. 
But, 

(2) The work of redemption with respect to the grand 
design in general, as it respects the universal subject and 
end, is carried on from the fall of man to the end of the 
world in a different manner, not merely by repeating or 
renewing the same effect in the different subjects of it, 
but by many successive works and dispensations of 
God, all tending to one great end and effect, all united 
as the several parts of a scheme, and all together making 
up one great work. Like an house or temple that is 
building; first, the workmen are sent forth, then the 
materials are gathered, then the ground fitted, then the 
foundation is laid, then the superstructure is erected, 
one part after another, until at length the top stone is 
laid, and all is finished. Now the work of redemption 
in that large sense that has been explained, may be com 
pared to such a building, that is carrying on from the 
fall of man to the end of the world. God went about it 
immediately after the fall of man. Some things were 
done towards it immediately, as may be shown here 
after ; and so God has proceeded, as it were, getting 
materials and building, ever since ; and so will proceed 
to the end of the world ; and then the time will come 
when the top stone shall be brought forth, and all will 
appear complete and consummate. The glorious struc 
ture will then stand forth in its proper perfection. 

This work is carried on in the former respect that has 
been mentioned, viz., as to the effect on the souls of par 
ticular persons that are redeemed, by its being an effect 
that is common to all ages. The work is carried on in 
this latter respect, viz., as it respects the church of God, 
and the grand design in general, it is carried on, not 
only by that which is common to all ages, but by suc 
cessive works wrought in different ages, all parts of one 
whole, or one great scheme, whereby one work is 
brought about by various steps, one step in one age, 
and another in another. It is this carrying on of the 
work of redemption that I shall chiefly insist upon, 
though not excluding the former; for one necessarily 
supposes the other. 

Having thus explained what I mean by the terms of 



22 A HISTORY OF THE 

the doctrine ; that you may the more clearly see how 
the great design and work of redemption is carried on 
from the fall of man to the end of the world ; I say, in 
order to this, 

I now proceed, in the second place, to show what is 
the design of this great work, or what things are de 
signed to be done by it. In order to see how a design 
is carried on, we must first know what the design is. 
To know how a workman proceeds, and to understand 
the various steps he takes in order to accomplish a 
piece of work, we need to be informed what he is about, 
or what the thing is that he intends to accomplish ; 
otherwise we may stand by, and see him do one thing 
after another, and be quite puzzled and ir> the dark, see 
ing nothing of his scheme, and understanding nothing 
of what he means by it. If an architect, with a great 
number of hands, were a building some great palace, 
and one that was a stranger to such things should stand 
by, and see some men digging in the earth, others bring 
ing timber, others hewing stones, and the like, he might 
see that there was a great deal done ; but if he knew 
not the design, it would all appear to him confusion. 
And therefore, that the great works and dispensations 
of God that belong to this great affair of redemption may 
not appear like confusion to you, I would set before you 
briefly the main things designed to be accomplished in 
this great work, to accomplish which God began to work 
presently after the fall of man, and will continue working 
to the end of the world, when the whole work will ap 
pear completely finished. And the main things designed 
to be done by it are these that follow. 

I. It is to put all God s enemies under his feet, and that 
the goodness of God should finally appear triumphing 
over all evil. Soon after the world was created, evil 
entered into the world in the fall of the angels and man. 
Presently after God had made rational creatures, there 
were enemies who rose up against him from among 
them ; and in the fall of man evil entered into this lower 
world, and God s enemies rose up against him here. 
Satan rose up against God, endeavouring to frustrate 
his design in the creation of this lower world, to destroy 
his workmanship here, and to wrest the government of 
this lower world out of his hands, and usurp the throne 
himself, and set up himself as god of this world instead 
of the God that made it. And to these ends he introduced 
sin into the world ; and having made man God s enemy, 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 23 

he brought guilt on man, and brought death and the 
most extreme and dreadful misery into the world. 

Now one great design of God in the affair of redemp 
tion was, to reduce and subdue those enemies of God, 
until they should all be put under God s feet: 1 Cor. xv. 
25. " He must reign until he hath put all enemies under 
his feet." Things were originally so planned and de 
signed, that he might disappoint and confound, and tri 
umph over Satan, and that he might be bruised under 
Christ s feet, Gen. iii. 15. The promise was given, that 
the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent s head. 
It was a part of God s original design in this work, to 
destroy the works of the devil, and confound him in all 
his purposes : 1 John iii. 8. " For this purpose was the 
Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works 
of the devil." It was a part of his design, to triumph 
over sin, and over the corruptions of men, and to root 
them out of the hearts of his people, by conforming them 
to himself. He designed also, that his grace should tri 
umph over man s guilt, and that infinite demerit that 
there is in sin. Again, it was a part of his design, to 
triumph over death ; and however this is the last enemy 
that shall be destroyed, yet that shall finally be van 
quished and destroyed. 

God thus appears gloriously above all evil ; and tri 
umphing over all his enemies, was one great thing that 
God intended by the work of redemption ; and the work 
by which this was to be done, God immediately went 
about as soon as man fell ; and so goes on until he fully 
accomplishes it in the end of the world. 

II. In doing this, God s design was perfectly to restore 
all the ruins of the fall, so far as concerns the elect part 
of the world, by his Son ; and therefore we read of the 
"restitution of all things," Acts iii. 21. "Whom the 
heaven must receive, until the times of the restitution 
of all things ;" and of the " times of refreshing" from 
the presence of the Lord Jesus, Acts iii. 19. "Repent 
ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be 
blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come 
from the presence of the Lord." 

Man s soul was ruined by the fall ; the image of God 
was ruined ; man s nature was corrupted and destroy 
ed, and man became dead in sin. The design of God 
was, to restore the soul of man; to restore life to it, and 
the image of God, in conversion, and to carry on the res 
toration in sanctification, and to perfect it in glory. 



24 A HISTORY OP THE 

Man s body was ruined ; by the fall it became subject tc 
death. The design of God was, to restore it from this 
ruin, and not only to deliver it from death in the resur 
rection, but to deliver it from mortality itself, in making 
it like unto Christ s glorious body. The world was 
ruined, as to man, as effectually as if it had been reduced 
to chaos again; all heaven and earth were overthrown. 
But the design of God was, to restore all, and as it were 
to create a new heaven and a new earth: Isa. Ixv. 17. 
" Behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth ; and 
the former shall not be remembered, nor come into 
mind." 2 Pet. iii. 13. "Nevertheless we, according to 
his promise, look for new heavens, and a new earth, 
wherein dwelleth righteousness." 

The work by which this was to be done, was begun 
immediately after the fall, and so is carried on until all 
is finished at the end, when the whole world, heaven 
and earth, shall be restored ; and there shall be, as it 
were, new heavens, and a new earth, in a spiritual sense, 
at the end of the world. Thus it is represented, Rev. 
xxi. 1. "And I saw a new heaven, and a new earth; 
for the first heaven and the first earth were passed 
away." 

III. Another great design of God in the work of re 
demption, was to gather together in one all things in 
Christ, in heaven and in earth, i. e. all elect creatures ; 
to bring all elect creatures, in heaven and in earth, to an 
union one to another in one body, under one head, and 
to unite all together in one body to God the Father. 
This was begun soon after the fall, and is carried on 
through all ages of the world, and finished at the end of 
the world. 

IV. God designed by this work to perfect and com 
plete the glory of all the elect by Christ. It was a de 
sign of God to advance the elect to an exceeding pitch 
of glory, " such as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor 
has ever entered into the heart of man." He intended 
to bring them to perfect excellency and beauty in his 
image, and in holiness, which is the proper beauty of 
spiritual beings ; and to advance them to a glorious de 
gree of honour, and also to an ineffable pitch of pleasure 
and joy; and thus to glorify the whole church of elect 
men in soul and body, and with them to bring the glory 
of the elect angels to its highest pitch under one head. 
The work which tends to this, God began immediately 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 25 

after the fall, and carries on through all ages, and will 
have perfected at the end of the world. 

V. In all this God designed to accomplish the glory of 
the blessed Trinity in an exceeding degree. God had a 
design of glorifying himself from eternity ; to glorify each 
person in the Godhead. The end must be considered as 
first in the order of nature, and then the means ; and 
therefore we must conceive, that God having professed 
this end, had then as it were the means to choose ; and 
the principal mean that he pitched upon was this great 
work of redemption that we are speaking of. It was his 
design in this work to glorify his only begotten Son, 
Jesus Christ ; and it was his design, by the Son to glorify 
the Father: John xiii. 31, 32. "Now is the Son of Man 
glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glori 
fied in him, God also shall glorify him in himself, and 
shall straightway glorify him." It was his design that 
the Son should thus be glorified, and should glorify the 
Father by what should be accomplished by the Spirit to 
the glory of the Spirit, that the whole Trinity, conjunctly, 
and each person singly, might be exceedingly glorified. 
The work that was the appointed means of this, was be 
gun immediately after the fall, and is carried on until, 
and finished at, the end of the world, when all this in 
tended glory shall be fully accomplished in all things. 

Having thus explained the terms made use of in the 
doctrine, and shown what the things are which are to 
be accomplished by this great work of God, I proceed 
now to the proposed History; that is, to show how what 
was designed by the work of redemption has been ac 
complished, in the various steps of this work, from the 
fall of man to the end of the world. 

Ip. order to this, I would divide this whole space of 
time into three periods : The 

1st, Reaching from the fall of man to the incarnation 
of Christ; the 

2d, From Christ s incarnation until his resurrection; 
or the whole time of Christ s humiliation; the 

3d, From thence to the end of the world. 

It may be some may be ready to think this a very un 
equal division ; and it is so indeed in some respects. It 
is so, because the second period is so much the greatest. 
For although it be so much shorter than either of the 
other, being but between thirty and forty years, where 
as both the other contain thousands ; yet in this affair 
that we are now upon, it is more than both the others. 
3 



26 A HISTORY OF THE 

I would therefore proceed to show distinctly how tho 
work of redemption is carried on from the fall of man to 
the end of the world, through each of these periods in 
their order; which I would do under three propositions; 
one concerning each period. 

I. That from the fall of man until the incarnation of 
Christ, God was doing those things that were prepara 
tory to Christ s coming and working out redemption, 
and were forerunners and earnests of it. 

II. That the time from Christ s incarnation, until his 
resurrection, was spent in procuring and purchasing 
redemption. 

III. That the space of time from the resurrection of 
Christ to the end of the world, is all taken up in bring 
ing about or accomplishing the great effect or success 
of that purchase. 

In a particular consideration of these three proposi 
tions, the great truth taught in the doctrine may per 
haps appear in a clear light, and we may see how the 
work of redemption is carried on from the fall of man to 
the end of the world. 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 27 



PERIOD I. 



FROM THE FALL TO THE INCARNATION. 

Mv first task is, to show how the work of redemption is 
carried on from the fall of man to the incarnation of 
Christ, under the first proposition, viz. 

That the space of time from the fall of man to the in 
carnation of Christ, was taken up in doing those things 
that were forerunners and earnests of Christ s coming 
and working out redemption, and were preparatory to 
it. 

The great works of God in the world during this 
whole space of time, were all preparatory to this. There 
were many great changes and revolutions in the world, 
and they were all only the turning of the wheels of pro 
vidence in order to this, to make way for the coming of 
Christ, and what he was to do in the world. They all 
pointed hither, and all issued here. Hither tended es 
pecially all God s great works towards his church. The 
church was under various dispensations of providence, 
and in very various circumstances, before Christ came. 
But all these dispensations were to prepare the way for 
his coming. God wrought salvation for the souls of men 
through all that space of time, though the number was 
very small to what it was afterwards ; and all this salva 
tion was, as it were, by way of anticipation. All the 
souls that were saved before Christ came, were only as 
it were the earnests of the future harvest. 

God wrought many lesser salvations and deliverances 
for his church and people before Christ came. These 
salvations were all but so many images and forerunners 
of the great salvation Christ was to work out when he 
should come. God revealed himself of old, from time to 
time, from the fall of man to the coming of Christ. The 
church during that space of time enjoyed the light of di- 



28 A HISTORY OF THE 

vine revelation, or God s word. They had in a degree 
the light of the gospel. But all these revelations were 
only so many forerunners and earnests of the great light 
that he should bring who came to be the light of the 
world. That whole space of time was as it were the 
time of night, wherein the church of God was not indeed 
wholly without light : but it was like the light of the 
moon and stars that we have in the night ; a dim light 
in comparison of the light of the sun, and mixed with a 
great deal of darkness. It had no glory, by reason of the 
glory that excelleth, 2 Cor. iii. 10. The church had in 
deed the light of the sun, but it was only as reflected 
from the moon and stars. The church all that while was 
a minor. This the apostle evidently teaches in Gal. iv. 
1, 2, 3. "Now I say, that the heir as long as he is a 
child, difFereth nothing from a servant, though he be 
lord of all ; but is under tutors and governors, until the 
time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were 
children, were in bondage under the elements of the 
world." 

But here, for the greater clearness and distinctness, I 
would subdivide this period, from the fall of man to the 
coming of Christ, into six lesser periods, or parts. 

1st, Extending from the fall to the flood ; 

2d, From thence to the calling of Abraham ; 

3d, From thence to Moses ; 

4th, From thence to David ; 

5th, From David to the captivity into Babylon ; 

6th, From thence to the incarnation of Christ. 



PART I. 

FROM THE FALL TO THE FLOOD. 

THIS was a period farthest of all distant from Christ s in 
carnation ; yet then this great work was begun to be 
carried on ; then was this "glorious building begun, that 
will not be finished until the end of the world, as I would 
now show you how. And to this purpose I would ob 
serve, 



\VURK OP REDEMPTION. 29 

I. As soon as ever man fell, Christ entered on his me 
diatorial work. Then it was that Christ first took on 
him the work and office of a mediator. He had under 
taken it before the world was made. He stood engaged 
with the Father to appear as man s mediator, and to 
take on him that office when there should be occasion, 
from all eternity. But now the time was come. When 
man fell, then the occasion came ; and then Christ im 
mediately, without further delay, entered on his work, 
and took on him that office that he had stood engaged 
to take on him from eternity. As soon as ever man fell, 
Christ the eternal Son of God clothed himself with the 
mediatorial character, and therein presented himself be 
fore the Father. He immediately stepped in between an 
holy, infinite, offended Majesty, and offending mankind ; 
and was accepted in his interposition ; and so wrath was 
prevented from going forth in the full execution of that 
amazing curse that man had brought on himself. 

It is manifest that Christ began to exercise the office 
of mediator between God and man as soon as ever man 
fell, because mercy began to be exercised towards man 
immediately. There was mercy in the forbearance of 
God. that he did -not destroy him, as he did the angels 
when they fell. But there is no mercy exercised toward 
fallen man but through a mediator. If God had not in 
mercy restrained Satan, he would immediately have 
seized on his prey. Christ began to do the part of an 
intercessor for man as soon as he fell. There is no 
mercy exercised towards man but what is obtained 
through Christ s intercession; so that now Christ was 
entered on his work that he was to continue in through 
out all ages of the world. From that day forward Christ 
took on him the care of the church of the elect: He took 
on him the care of fallen man in the exercise of all his 
offices; he undertook thenceforward to teach mankind 
in the exercise of his prophetical office ; and also to in 
tercede for fallen man in his priestly office ; and he took 
on him, as it were, the care and burden of the govern 
ment of the church, and of the world of mankind, from 
this day forward. He from that time took upon him the 
care of the defence of his elect church from all their 
enemies. When Satan, the grand enemy, had conquered 
and overthrown man, the business of resisting and con 
quering him was committed to Christ. He thencefor 
ward undertook to manage that subtle powerful adver 
sary. He was then appointed the Captain of the Lord s 
3* 



30 A HISTORY OP THE 

hosts, and the Captain of their salvation, and always 
acted as such thenceforward : and so he appeared from 
time to time, and he will continue to act as such to the 
end of the world. Henceforward this lower world, with 
all its concerns, was, as it were, devolved upon the Son 
of God : for when man had sinned, God the Father 
would have no more to do with man immediately ; he 
would no more have any immediate concern with this 
world of mankind, that had apostatized from and rebelled 
against him. He would henceforward have no concern 
with man, but only through a mediator, either in teach 
ing men, or in governing or bestowing any benefits on 
them. 

And therefore, when we read in sacred history what 
God did from time to time towards his church and 
people, and what he said to them, and how he revealed 
himself to them, we are to understand it especially of 
the second person of the Trinity. When we read of 
God s appearing after the fall, from time to time, in some 
visible form or outward symbol of his presence, we are 
ordinarily, if not universally, to understand it of the 
second person of the Trinity: which may be argued 
from John i. 18. " No man hath seen God at any time; 
the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Fa 
ther, he hath declared him." He is therefore called " the 
image of the invisible God," Col. i. 15, intimating, that 
though God the Father be invisible, yet Christ is his 
image or representation, by which he is seen, or by 
which the church of God hath often had a representa 
tion of him, that is not invisible, and in particular that 
Christ has after appeared in an human form. 

Yea, not only was this lower world devolved on Christ, 
that he might have the care and government of it, and 
order it agreeably to his design of redemption, but also 
in some respect the whole universe. The angels from 
that time were committed to him, to be subject to him in 
his mediatorial office, to be ministering spirits to him in 
this affair; and accordingly were so from this time for 
ward, as is manifest by the scripture history, wherein 
we have accounts from time to time of their acting as 
ministering spirits in the affairs of the church of Christ. 

And therefore we may suppose, that immediately on 
the fall of man, it was made known in heaven among the 
angels, that God had a design of redemption with respect 
to fallen man, and that Christ had now taken upon him 
the office and work of a mediator between God and man, 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. J 

tnat they might know their business hence- v r ^{). which 
was to be subservient to Christ, in this < JTice. And as 
Christ, in this office, has since that, as Go-..i-man and Me 
diator, been solemnly exalted and install jd the King of 
heaven, and is thenceforward as God-man, Mediator, the 
-light, and as it were, the Sun of heaven, agreeable to 
Rev. xxi. 23 ; " And the city had no need of the sun, 
neither of the moon, to shine in it ; for the glory of God 
did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof;" so this 
revelation that was made in heaven among the angels, 
of Christ s now having taken on him the office of a medi 
ator between God and man, was as it were the first 
dawning of this light in heaven. When Christ ascended 
into heaven after his passion, and was solemnly installed 
in the throne as King of heaven, then this sun rose in 
heaven, even the Lamb that is the light of the new Jeru 
salem. But the light began to dawn immediately after 
the fall. 

II. Presently upon this the gospel was first revealed 
on earth, in these words, Gen. iii. 15, "And I will pufc 
enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy 
seed and her seed. It shall bruise thy head, and thou 
shalt bruise his heel." We must suppose, that God s in 
tention of redeeming fallen man was first signified in 
heaven, before it was signified on earth, because the 
business of the angels as ministering spirits of the Medi 
ator required it ; for as soon as ever Christ had taken 
on him the work of a mediator, it was requisite that the 
angels should be ready immediately to be subservient to 
him in that office: so that the light first dawned in hea 
ven; but very soon after the same was signified on 
earth. In those words of God there was an intimation 
of another surety to be appointed for man, after the first 
surety had failed. This was the first revelation of the 
covenant of grace ; this was the first dawning of the 
light of the gospel on earth. 

This lower world before the fall enjoyed noonday 
light ; the light of the knowledge of God, the light of his 
glory, and the light of his favour. But when man fell, 
all this light was at once extinguished, and the world 
reduced back again to total darkness; a worse darkness 
than that which was in the beginning of the world, that 
we read of, Gen. i. 2; "And the earth was without 
form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the 
deep." This was a darkness a thousand times more 
remediless than that. Neither men nor angels could find 



32 A HISTORY OF THE 

out any way whereby this darkness might be scattered. 
This darkness appeared in its blackness then, when 
Adam and his wife saw that they were naked, and 
sewed fig leaves, and when they heard the voice of the 
Lord God walking in the garden, and hid themselves 
among the trees of the garden; and when God first call 
ed them to an account, and said to Adam, "What is 
this that thou hast done] Hast thou eaten of the tree, 
whereof I commanded thee, that thou shouldest not eat ?" 
Then we may suppose that their hearts were filled with 
shame and terror. But these words of God, Gen. iii. 15. 
were the first dawning of the light of the gospel after 
this darkness. Now first appeared some glimmering of 
light after this dismal darkness, which before this was 
without one glimpse of light, any beam of comfort, or 
any the least hope. It was an obscure revelation of the 
gospel; and was not made to Adam or Eve direct 
ly, but it was in what God said to the serpent. But yet 
it was very comprehensive, as might be easily shown, 
would it not take up too much time. 

Here was a certain intimation of a merciful design by 
" the seed of the woman," which was like the first glim 
merings of the light of the sun in the east when the day 
first dawns. This intimation of mercy was given them 
even before sentence was pronounced on eTther Adam 
or Eve, from tenderness to them, to whom God de 
signed mercy, lest they should be overborne with a sen 
tence of condemnation, without having any thing held 
forth whence they could gather any hope. 

One of those great things that were intended to be 
done by the work of redemption, is more plainly inti 
mated here than the rest, viz. God s subduing his ene 
mies under the feet of his Son. This was threatened 
now, and God s design of this was now first declared, 
which was the work Christ had now undertaken, and 
which he soon began, and carried on thenceforward, and 
will perfectly accomplish at the end of the world. Satan 
probably had triumphed greatly in the fall of man, as 
though he had defeated the designs of God in the crea 
tion of man and the world in general. But. in these 
words God gives him a plain intimation, that he should 
not finally triumph, but that a complete victory and tri 
umph should be obtained over him by the seed of the 
woman. 

This revelation of the gospel in this verse was the first 
thing that Christ did in his prophetical office. You may 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 33 

remember, that, it was said in the first of those three pro 
positions that have been mentioned, that from the fall of 
man to the incarnation of Christ, God was doing those 
things that were preparatory to Christ s coming and 
working out redemption, and were forerunners and 
earnests of it. And one of those things which God did 
in this time to prepare the way for Christ s coming into 
the world, was to fbretel and promise it, as he did from 
time to time, from age to age, until Christ came. This 
was the first promise that ever was given of it, the first 
prediction that ever was made of it on earth. 

III. Soon after this, the custom of sacrificing was ap 
pointed, to be a steady type of the sacrifice of Christ un 
til he should come, and offer up himself a sacrifice to 
God. Sacrificing was not a custom first established by 
the Levitical law of Moses ; for it had been a part of 
God s instituted worship long before, even from the be 
ginning of God s visible church on earth. We read of 
the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, offering sac 
rifice, and before them Noah, and before him Abel. And 
this was by divine appointment; for it was a part of 
God s worship in his church, that was offered up in faith, 
and that he accepted : which proves that it was by his 
institution ; for sacrificing is no part of natural worship. 
The light of nature doth not teach men to offer up beasts 
in sacrifice to God; and seeing it was not enjoined by 
the law of nature, if it was acceptable to God, it must be 
by some positive command or institution; for God has 
declared his abhorrence of such worship as is taught by 
the precept of men without his institution; Isa. xxix. 13. 
" Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people 
draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do 
honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, 
and their fear towards me is taught by the precept of 
men ; therefore behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous 
work," &c. And such worship as hath not a warrant 
from divine institution, cannot be offered up in faith, be 
cause faith has no foundation where there is no divine 
appointment. It cannot be offered up in faith of God s 
acceptance; for men have no warrant to hope for God s 
acceptance, in that which is not of his appointment, and 
in that to which he hath not promised his acceptance : 
and therefore it follows, that the custom of offering 
sacrifices to God was instituted soon after the fall; 
for the scripture teaches us, that Abel offered "the 
firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof," Gen. iv 



34 A HISTORY OF THE 

4. and that he was accepted of God in this offering, 
Heb. xi. 4. And there is nothing in the story that looks 
as though the institution was first given then when Abel 
offered up that sacrifice to God ; but it appears as though 
Abel only therein complied with a custom already estab 
lished. 

And it is very probable that it was instituted immedi 
ately after God had revealed the covenant of grace, in 
Gen. iii. 15, which covenant and promise was the foun 
dation on which the custom of sacrificing was built. 
That promise was the first stone that was laid towards 
this glorious building, the work of redemption, which 
will be finished at the end of the worlr 1 . And the next 
stone which was laid upon that, was the institution of 
sacrifices, to be a type of the great sacrifice. 

The next thing that we have an account of after God 
had pronounced sentence on the serpent, on the woman, 
and on the man, was, that God made them coats of 
skins, and clothed them ; which, by the generality of 
divines, are thought to be the skins of beasts slain in 
sacrifice ; for we have no account of anything else that 
should be the occasion of man s slaying beasts, but only 
to offer them in sacrifice, until after the flood. Men 
were not wont to eat the flesh of beasts as their common 
food until after the flood. The first food of man in par 
adise before the fall was the fruit of the trees of para 
dise ; and when he was turned out of paradise after the 
fall, then his food was the herb of the field : Gen. iii. 18, 
" And thou shalt eat of the herb of the field." The first 
grant that he had to eat flesh as his common food was 
after the flood ; Gen. ix. 3, " Every moving thing that 
liveth shall be meat for you ; even as the green herb 
have I given you all things." So that it is likely that 
these skins that Adam and Eve were clothed with, were 
the skins of their sacrifices. God s clothing them with 
these was a lively figure of their being clothed with the 
righteousness of Christ. This clothing was no clothing 
of their own obtaining; but it was God that gave it 
them. It is said, " God made them coats of skins, and 
clothed them ;" as the righteousness our naked souls 
are clothed with, is not our righteousness, but the right 
eousness which is of God. It is he only clothes the naked 
soul. 

Our first parents, who were naked, were clothed at 
the expense of life. Beasts were slain, and resigned up 
their lives a sacrifice to God, to afford clothing to them 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 35 

to cover their nakedness. So doth Christ, to afford 
clothing to our naked souls. The skin signifies the life : 
So, Job ii. 4, " Skin for skin, yea all that a man hath will 
he give for his life ;" i. e. life for life. Thus our first pa 
rents were covered with skins of sacrifices, as the taber 
nacle in the wilderness, which signified the church, was, 
when it was covered with rams skins dyed red, as 
though they were dipped in blood, to signify that Christ s 
righteousness was wrought out through the pains of 
death, under which he shed his precious blood. 

We observed before, that the light that the church en 
joyed from the fall of man, until Christ came, was like 
the light which we enjoy in the night ; not the light of 
the sun directly, but as reflected from the moon and 
stars ; which light did foreshow Christ the Sun of right 
eousness that was afterwards to arise. This light of the 
Sun of righteousness to come they had chiefly two ways : 
One was by predictions of Christ to come, whereby his 
coming was foretold and promised ; the other was by 
types and shadows, whereby his coming and redemption 
were prefigured. The first thing that was done to pre 
pare the way for Christ in the former of these ways, was 
in that promise that was just taken notice of in the fore 
going particular ; and the first thing of the latter kind, 
viz., of types, to foreshow Christ s coming, was that in 
stitution of sacrifices that we are now upon. As that 
promise in Gen. iii. 15, was the first dawn of gospel light 
after the fall in prophecy ; so the institution of sacrifices 
was the first hint of it in types. The giving of that pro 
mise was the first thing that was done after the fall, in 
this work, in Christ s prophetical office ; the institution 
of sacrifices was the first thing that we read of after the 
fall, by which especially Christ exhibited himself in his 
priestly office. 

The institution of sacrifices was a great thing done 
towards preparing the way for Christ s coming, and 
working out redemption. For the sacrifices of the Old 
Testament were the main of all the Old Testament types 
of Christ and his redemption ; and it tended to establish 
in the minds of God s visible church the necessity of a 
propitiatory sacrifice, in order to the Deity s being satis 
fied for sin ; and so prepared the way for the reception 
of the glorious gospel, that reveals the great sacrifice in 
the visible church, and not only so, but through the 
world of mankind. For from this institution of sacrifices 
that was after the fall, all nations derived the custom of 



36 A HISTORY OF THE 

sacrificing. For this custom of offering up sacrifices to 
the gods, to atone for their sins, was common to all na 
tions. No nation, however barbarous, was found with 
out it any where. This is a great evidence of the truth 
of the Christian religion ; for no nation, but only the 
Jews, could tell how they came by this custom, or to 
what purpose it was to offer sacrifices to their deities. 
The light of nature did not teach them any such thing. 
That did not teach them that the gods were hungry, and 
fed upon the flesh which they burnt in sacrifice ; and yet 
they all had this custom ; of which no other account can 
be given, but that they derived it from Noah, who had 
it from his ancestors, on whom God had enjoined it as a 
type of the great sacrifice of Christ. However, by this 
means all nations of the world had their minds possess 
ed with this notion, that an atonement or sacrifice for 
sin was necessary; and a way was made for their more 
readily receiving the great doctrine of the gospel of 
Christ, which teaches us the atonement and sacrifice of 
Christ. 

IV. God did soon after the fall begin actually to save 
the souls of men through Christ s redemption. In this 
Christ, who had lately taken upon him the work of Me 
diator between God and man, did first begin that work, 
wherein he appeared in the exercise of his kingly office, 
as in the sacrifices he was represented in his priestly 
office, and in the first prediction of redemption by Christ 
he had appeared in the exercise of his prophetical office. 
In that prediction the light of Christ s redemption first 
began to dawn in the prophecies of it ; in the institution 
of sacrifices it first began to dawn in the types of it ; in 
this, viz., his beginning actually to save men, it first be 
gan to dawn in the fruit of it. 

It is probable, therefore, that Adam and Eve were the 
first fruits of Christ s redemption ; it is probable by God s 
manner of treating them, by his comforting them as he 
did, after their awakenings and terrors. They were 
awakened, and ashamed with a sense of their guilt, after 
their fall, when their eyes were opened, and they saw 
that they were naked, and sewed fig leaves to cover 
their nakedness; as the sinner, under the first awaken 
ings, is wont to endeavour to hide the nakedness of his 
soul, by patching up a righteousness of his own. Then 
they were further terrified and awakened, by hearing 
the voice of God, as he was coming to condemn them 
Their coverings of fig leaves do not answer the purpose, 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 37 

but notwithstanding these, they ran to hide themselves 
among the trees of the garden, because they were naked, 
not daring to trust to their fig leaves to hide their naked 
ness from God. Then they were further awakened by 
God s calling of them to a strict account. But while 
their terrors were raised to such a height, and they 
stood, as we may suppose, trembling and astonished 
before their judge, without any thing to catch hold of 
whence they could gather any hope, then God took care 
to hold forth some encouragement to them, to keep them 
from the dreadful effects of despair under their awaken 
ings, by giving a hint of a design of mercy by a Saviour, 
even before he pronounced sentence against them. And 
when after this he proceeded to pronounce sentence, 
whereby we may suppose their terrors were further 
raised, God soon after took care to encourage them, and 
to let them see, that he had not wholly cast them off, by 
taking a fatherly care of them in their fallen, naked, and 
miserable state, by making them coats of skins and 
clothing them. Which also manifested an acceptance 
of those sacrifices that they offered to God for sin, that 
those were the skins of, which were types of what God 
had promised, when he said, " The seed of the woman 
shall bruise the serpent s head :" which promise, there 
is reason to think, they believed and embraced. Eve 
seems plainly to express her hope in and dependence on 
that promise, in what she says at the birth of Cain, Gen. 
iv. 1. "I have gotten a man from the Lord;" i. e. as 
God has promised, that my seed should bruise the serpent s 
head ; so now has God given me this pledge and token 
of it, that I have a seed born. She plainly owns, that 
this her child was from God, and hoped that her promis 
ed seed was to be of this her eldest son ; though she was 
mistaken, as Abraham was with respect to Ishmael, as 
Jacob was with respect to Esau, and as Samuel was 
with respect to the first born of Jesse. And especially 
does what she said at the birth of Seth express her hope 
and dependence on the promise of God ; see ver. 25. 
" For God hath appointed me another seed, instead of 
Abel, whom Cain slew." 

Thus it is exceeding probable, if not evident, that as 
Christ took on him the work of Mediator as soon as man 
fell ; so that he now immediately began his work of re r 
demption in its effect, and that he immediately encoun 
tered his great enemy the devil, whom he had under 
taken to conquer, a^nd rescued those two first captives 

4 



38 A HISTORY OF THE 

out of his hands; therein baffling him, soon after his tri 
umph for the victory he had obtained over them, where 
by he had made them his captives. And though he was, 
as it were, sure of them and all their posterity, Christ 
the Redeemer soon showed him, that he was mistaken, 
and that he was able to subdue him, and deliver fallen 
man. He let him see it, in delivering those first captives 
of his ; and so soon gave him an instance of the fulfil 
ment of that threatening, "The seed of the woman shall 
bruise the serpent s head;" and in this instance a pre 
sage of the fulfilment of one great thing he had under 
taken, viz. his subduing all his enemies under his feet. 

After this we have another instance of redemption in 
one of their children, viz. in righteous Abel, as the scrip 
ture calls him, whose soul perhaps was the first that 
went to heaven through Christ s redemption. In him 
we have at least the first instance of the death of a re 
deemed person that is recorded in scripture. If he was 
the first, then as the redemption of Christ began to dawn 
before in the souls of men in their conversion and justi 
fication, in him it first began to dawn in glorification ; 
and in him the angels began first to do the part of min 
istering spirits to Christ, in going forth to conduct the 
souls of the redeemed to glory. And in him the elect 
angels in heaven had the first opportunity to see so won 
derful a thing as the soul of one of the fallen race of man 
kind, that had been sunk by the fall into such an abyss 
of sin and misery, brought to heaven, and in the enjoy 
ment of heavenly glory, which was a much greater thing 
than if they had seen him returned to the earthly para 
dise. Thus they by this saw the glorious effect of 
Christ s redemption, in the great honour and happiness 
that was procured for sinful miserable creatures by it. 

V. The next remarkable thing that God did in the 
farther carrying on of this great affair of redemption, 
that I shall take notice of, was the first remarkable pour 
ing out of the Spirit through Christ that ever was, which 
was in the days of Enos. This seems to have been the 
next remarkable thing that was done toward erecting 
this glorious building that God had begun and laid the 
foundation of in Christ the Mediator. We read, Gen. 
iv. 26. " Then began men to call upon the name of the 
Lord." The meaning of these words has been consid 
erably controverted among divines. We cannot sup 
pose the meaning is, that that time was the first that 
ever man performed the duty of prayer. Prayer is a 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 39 

duty of natural religion, and a duty to which a spirit of 
piety does most naturally lead men. Prayer is as it 
were the very breath of a spirit of piety ; and we cannot 
suppose therefore, that those holy men that had been be 
fore for above two hundred years, had lived all that 
while without any prayer. Therefore some divines 
think, that the meaning is, that then men first began to 

Crform public worship, or to call upon the name of the 
>rd in public assemblies. Whether it be so to be un 
derstood or no, yet so much must necessarily be under 
stood by it, viz. that there was something new in the 
visible church of God with respect to the duty of prayer, 
or calling upon the name of the Lord ; that there was a 
great addition to the performance of this duty; and that 
in some respect or other it was carried far beyond what 
it ever had been before, which must be the consequence 
of a remarkable pouring out of the Spirit of God. 

If it was now first that men were stirred up to get to 
gether in assemblies to help and assist one another in 
seeking God, so as they never had done before, it argues 
something extraordinary as the cause; and could be 
from nothing but uncommon influences of God s Spirit. 
We see by experience, that a remarkable pouring out 
of God s Spirit is always attended with such an effect, 
viz. a great increase of the performance of the duty of 
prayer. When the Spirit of God begins a work on men s 
hearts, it immediately sets them to calling on the name 
of the Lord. As it was with Paul after the Spirit of God 
had laid hold of him, then the next news is, " Behold, he 
prayeth !" so it has been in all remarkable pourings out 
of the Spirit of God that we have any particular account 
of in scripture ; and so it is foretold it will be at the great 
pouring out of the Spirit of God in the latter days. It is 
foretold, that it will be poured out as a spirit of grace 
and supplications, Zech. xii. 10. See also Zeph. iii. 9. 
" For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that 
they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him 
with one consent." 

And when it is said, " Then began men to call upon 
the name of the Lord," no more can be intended by it, 
than that this was the first remarkable season of this na 
ture that ever was. It was the beginning, or the first, 
of such a kind of work of God, such a pouring out of the 
Spirit of God. After such a manner such an expression 
is commonly used in scripture: So, 1 Sam. xiv. 35. 
" And Saul built an altar unto the Lord ; the same was 



40 A HISTORY OF THE 

the first altar that he built unto the Lord." In the He- 
brew it is, as you may see in the margin, " that altar he 
began to build unto the Lord." Heb. ii. 3. "How shall 
we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which first 
began to be spoken by the Lord T 

It may here be observed, that from the fall of man, to 
this day wherein we live, the work of redemption in its 
effect has mainly been carried on by remarkable pour 
ings out of the Spirit of God. Though there be a more 
constant influence of God s Spirit always in some degree 
attending his ordinances; yet the way in which the 
greatest things have been done towards carrying on this 
work, always has been by remarkable pourings out of 
the Spirit at special seasons of mercy, as may fully ap 
pear hereafter in our further prosecution of the subject 
we are upon. And this pouring out of the Spirit in the 
days of Enos, was the first remarkable pouring out of 
the Spirit of God that ever was. There had been a sav 
ing work of God on the hearts of some before ; but now 
God was pleased to grant a more large effusion of his 
Spirit, for the bringing in an harvest of souls to Christ ; 
so that in this we see that great building that is the sub 
ject of our present discourse, which God laid the foun 
dation of immediately after the fall of man, carried on 
further, and built higher, than ever it had been before. 

VI. The next thing I shall take notice of, is the emi 
nently holy life of Enoch, who we have reason to think 
was a saint of greater eminency than any ever had been 
before him ; so that in this respect the work of redemp 
tion was carried on to a greater height than ever it had 
been before. With respect to its effect in the visible 
church in general, we observed just now how it was 
carried higher in the days of Enos than ever it had been 
before. Probably Enoch was one of the saints of that 
harvest ; for he lived all the days that he did live on 
earth, in the days of Enos. And with respect to the de 
gree to which this work was carried in the soul of a par 
ticular person, it was raised to a greater height in Enoch 
than ever before. His soul, as it was built on Christ, 
was built up in holiness to a greater height than there 
had been any instance of before. He was a wonderful in 
stance of Christ s redemption, and the efficacy of his grace. 

VII. In Enoch s time, God did more expressly reveal 
the coming of Christ than he had done before, in the pro 
phecy of Enoch that we have an account of in the 14th 
and 15th verses of the epistle of Jude : " And Enoch also, 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 4 

the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Be 
hold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, 
to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that 
are ungodly among them, of their ungodly deeds which 
they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard 
speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against 
him." Here Enoch prophesies of the coming of Christ. 
It does not seem to be confined to any particular coming 
of Christ ; but it has respect in general to Christ s com 
ing in his kingdom, and is fulfilled in a degree in both 
the first and second coming of Christ ; and indeed in 
every remarkable manifestation Christ has made of him 
self in the world, for the saving of his people, and the de 
stroying of his enemies. It is very parallel in this re 
spect with many other prophecies of the coming of Christ, 
that were given under the Old Testament ; and, in par 
ticular, it seems to be parallel with that great prophecy 
of Christ s coming in his kingdom that we have in the 
7th chapter of Daniel, whence the Jews principally took 
their notion of the kingdom of heaven. See ver. 10. "A 
fiery stream issued, and came forth from before him: 
thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thou 
sand times ten thousand stood before him : the judg 
ment was set, and the books were opened." And ver. 
13, 14. "I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like 
the Son of Man, came with the clouds of heaven, and 
came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near 
before him. And there was given him dominion, and 
glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and lan 
guages, should serve him. His dominion is an everlast 
ing dominion, which shall not pass away, and his king 
dom that which shall not be destroyed." And though it 
is not unlikely that Enoch might have a more immediate 
respect in this prophecy to the approaching destruction 
of the old world by the flood, which was a remarkable 
resemblance of Christ s destruction of all his enemies at 
his second coming, yet it doubtless looked beyond the 
type to the antitype. 

And as this prophecy of Christ s coming is more ex 
press than any had been before ; so it is an instance of 
the increase of that gospel light that began to dawn pre 
sently after the fall of man ; and is an instance of that 
building that is the subject of our present discourse, be 
ing yet further carried on, and built up higher than ever 
it had been before. 

And here, by the way, I would observe, that the in- 



42 A HISTORY OP THE 

crease of gospel light, and the carrying on the work of 
redemption, as it respects the elect church in general, 
from the first erecting of the church to the end of the 
world, is very much after the same manner as the carry 
ing on of the same work and the same light in a particu 
lar soul, from the time of its conversion, until it is per 
fected and crowned in glory. The work in a particular 
soul has its ups and downs ; sometimes the light shines 
brighter, and sometimes it is a dark time ; sometimes 
grace seems to prevail, at other times it seems to lan 
guish for a great while together, and corruption prevails, 
and then grace revives again. But in general, grace is 
growing. From its first infusion, until it is perfected in 
glory, the kingdom of Christ is building up in the soul. 

So it is with respect to the great affair in general, as 
it relates to the universal subject of it, as it is carried on 
from the first beginning of it, after the fall, until it is per 
fected at the end of the world, as will more fully appear 
by a particular view of this affair from beginning to end, 
in the prosecution of this subject, if God give opportunity 
to carry it through as I propose. 

VIII. The next remarkable thing towards carrying on 
this work, that we have an account of in scripture, is 
the translation of Enoch into heaven. The account we 
have of it is in Gen. v. 24. " And Enoch walked with 
God, and he was not ; for God took him." Here Moses, 
in giving an account of the genealogy of those that were 
of the line of Noah, does not say concerning Enoch, he 
lived so long and he died, as he does of the rest; but, he 
was not, for God took him ; i. e. he translated him ; in body 
and soul carried him to heaven without dying, as it is 
explained in Heb. xi. 5. " By faith Enoch was translated 
that he should not see death." By this wonderful work 
of God, the work of redemption was carried to a greater 
height in several respects, than it had been before. 

You may remember, that when I was showing what 
were the great things that God aimed at in the work of 
redemption, or what the main things were that he in 
tended to bring to pass ; I among other things mention 
ed (p. 23.) the perfect restoring the ruins of the fall with 
respect to the elect, and restoring man from that destruc 
tion that he had brought on himself, both in soul and 
body. Now this translation of Enoch was the first in 
stance that ever was of restoring the ruins of the fall 
with respect to the body. There had been many in- 
stances of restoring the soul of man by Christ s redemp- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 43 

tion, but none of redeeming and actually saving the body 
until now. All the bodies of the elect are to be saved as 
well as their souls. At the end of the world, all the bo 
dies of the saints shall actually be redeemed; those that 
then shall have been dead, by a resurrection ; and others, 
that then shall be living, by causing them to pass under 
a glorious change. There was a number of the bodies 
of saints raised and glorified, at the resurrection and as 
cension of Christ; and before that there was an instance 
of a body glorified in Elijah. But the first instance of 
all was this of Enoch, that we are now speaking of. 

And the work of redemption by this was carried on 
further than ever it had been before ; as, by this wonder 
ful work of God, there was a great increase of gospel 
light to the church of God, in this respect, that hereby 
the church had a clearer manifestation of a future state, 
and of the glorious reward of the saints in heaven. We 
are told, 2 Tim. i. 10. " That life and immortality are 
brought to light by the gospel." And the more of this is 
brought to light, the more clearly does the light shine in 
that respect. What was said in the Old Testament of a 
future state, is very obscure, in comparison with the 
more full, plain, and abundant revelation given of it in 
the New. But yet even in those early days, the church 
of God, in this instance, was favoured with an instance 
of it set before their eyes, in that one of their brethren 
was actually taken up to heaven without dying ; which 
we have all reason to think the church of God knew 
then, as they afterwards knew Elijah s translation. And 
as this was a clearer manifestation of a future state than 
the church had had before, so it was a pledge or earnest 
of that future glorification of all the saints which God in 
tended through the redemption of Jesus Christ. 

IX. The next thing that I shall observe, was the up 
holding the church of God in the family of which Christ 
was to proceed, in the time of that great and general de 
fection of the world of mankind that was before the 
flood. The church of God, in all probability, was small, 
in comparison with the rest of the world, from the be 
ginning of the time that mankind first began to multiply 
on the face of the earth, or from the time of Cain s de 
fection, and departing from among the people of God ; 
the time we read of, Gen. iv. 16. When " Cain went out 
from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of 
Nod ;" which being interpreted, is the land of banish 
ment : I say, from this time of Cain s departure and sep- 



44 



A HISTORY OF THE 



aration from the church of God, it is probable that the 
church of God was small in comparison with the rest of 
the world. The church seems to have been kept up 
chiefly in the posterity of Seth ; for this was the seed 
that God appointed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew, 
But we cannot reasonably suppose, that Seth s posterity 
were one fiftieth part of the world: "For Adam was one 
hundred and thirty years old when Seth was born." 
But Cain, who seems to have been the ringleader of 
those that were not of the church, was Adam s eldest 
child, and probably was born soon after the fall, which 
doubtless was soon after Adam s creation ; so that there 
was time for Cain to have many sons before Seth was 
born, and besides many other children, that probably 
Adam and Eve had before this time, agreeably to God s 
blessing that he gave them, when he said, " Be fruitful, 
and multiply, and replenish the earth:" and many of 
these children might have children. The story of Cain 
before Seth was born, seems to represent as though 
there were great numbers of men on the earth: Gen. iv. 
14, 15. "Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from 
the face of the earth : and from thy face shall I be hid, 
and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth ; 
and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me 
shall slay me. And the Lord said unto him, Therefore 
whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on 
him seven-fold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, 
lest any finding him should kill him." And all those that 
were then in being when Seth was born, must be sup 
posed then to stand in equal capacity of multiplying their 
posterity with him ; and therefore, as I said before, Seth s 
posterity were but a small part of the inhabitants of the 
world. 

But after the days of Enos and Enoch, (for Enoch was 
translated before Enos died ;) I say, after their days, the 
church of God greatly diminished, in proportion as mul 
titudes that were of the line of Seth, and had been born 
in the church of God, fell away, and joined with the 
wicked world, principally by means of intermarriages 
with them ; as Gen. vi. 1, 2. & 4. " And it came to pass, 
when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, 
and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of 
God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair; and 
they took them wives of all which they chose. There 
were giants in the earth in those days ; and also after 
that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 45 

of men, and they bare children to them, the same be 
came mighty men, which were of old, men of renown." 
By the sons of God here, are doubtless meant the child 
ren of the church. It is a denomination often given them 
in scripture. They intermarried with the wicked world, 
and so had their hearts led away from God ; and there 
was a great and continual defection from the church. 
And the church of God, that used to be a restraint on 
the wicked world, diminished exceedingly, and so wick 
edness went on without restraint. And Satan, that old 
serpent the devil, that tempted our first parents, and set 
up himself as god of this world, raged exceedingly; and 
every imagination of the thoughts of man s heart was 
only evil continually, and the earth was filled with vio 
lence. It seemed to be deluged with wickedness now, 
as it was with water afterwards : and mankind in gen 
eral were drowned in this deluge ; almost all were swal 
lowed up in it. And now Satan made a most violent 
and potent attempt to swallow up the church of God ; 
and had almost done it. But yet God restored it in the 
midst of all this flood of wickedness and violence. He 
kept it up in that line of which Christ was to proceed. 
He would not suffer it to be destroyed, for a blessing 
was in it. The Lord the Redeemer was in this branch 
of mankind, and was afterwards to proceed from it. 
There was a particular family that was a root in which 
the great Redeemer of the world was, and whence the 
branch of righteousness was afterwards to shoot forth. 
And therefore, however the branches were lopped off, 
and the tree seemed to be destroyed; yet God, in the 
midst of all this, kept alive this root, by his wonderful 
redeeming power and grace, so that the gates of hell 
could not prevail against it. 

Thus I have shown how God carried on the great af 
fair of redemption ; how the building went on that God 
began after the fall, during this first period of the times 
of the Old Testament, viz. from the fall of man, until God 
brought the flood on the earth. And I would take no 
tice upon it, that though the history which Moses gives 
of the great works of God during that space be very 
short; yet it is exceeding comprehensive and instruc 
tive. And it may also be profitable for us here to ob 
serve, the efficacy of that purchase of redemption that 
had such great effects even in the old world so many 
ages before Christ appeared himself to purchase redemp- 



46 



A HISTORY OP THE 



tion, that his blood should have such great efficacy so 
long before it was shed. 



PART II. 

FROM THE FLOOD TO THE CALLING OF ABRAHAM. 

I PROCEED now to show how the same work was carried 
on through the second period of the Old Testament, that 
from the beginning of the floo.d until the calling of Abra 
ham. For though that mighty, overflowing, universal 
deluge of waters overthrew the world ; yet it did not 
overthrow this building of God, the work of redemption. 
But this went on yet ; and instead of being overthrown, 
continued to be built up, and was carried on to a further 
preparation for the great Saviour s coming into the 
world, and working out redemption for his people. And 
here, 

I. The flood itself was a work of God that belonged to 
this great affair, and tended to promote it. All the 
great and mighty works of God from the fall of man to 
the end of the world, are reducible to this work, and, if 
seen in a right view of them, will appear as parts of it, 
and so many steps that God has taken in order to it, or 
as carrying it on ; and doubtless so great a work, so re 
markable and universal a catastrophe, as the deluge 
was, cannot be excepted. It was a work that God 
wrought in order to it, as thereby God removed out of 
the way the enemies and obstacles of it, that were ready 
to overthrow it. 

Satan seems to have been in a dreadful rage just be 
fore the flood, and his rage then doubtless was, as it al 
ways has been, chiefly against the church of God to 
overthrow it ; and he had filled the earth with violence 
and rage against it. He had drawn over almost all the 
world to be on his side, and they listed under his banner 
against Christ and his church. We read, that the earth 
"was filled with violence;" and doubtless that violence 
was chiefly against the church, in fulfilment of what was 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 47 

foretold, " I will put enmity between thy seed and her 
seed." And their enmity and violence was so great, and 
the enemies of the church so numerous, the whole world 
being against the church, that it was come to the last 
extremity. Noah s reproofs, and his preaching of right 
eousness, were utterly disregarded. God s [Spirit had 
striven with them an hundred and twenty years, and all 
in vain ; and the church was almost swallowed up. It 
seems to have been reduced to so narrow limits, as to 
be confined to one family. And there was no prospect 
of any thing else but of their totally swallowing up the 
church, and that in a very little time, and so wholly de 
stroying that small root that had the blessing in it, or 
whence the Redeemer was to proceed. 

And therefore, God s destroying those enemies of the 
church by the flood, belongs to this affair of redemption: 
for it was one thing that "was done in fulfilment of the 
covenant of grace, as it was revealed to Adam: "I will 
put enmity between thee and the woman, and between 
thy seed and her seed ; it shall bruise thy head." This 
destruction was only a destruction of the seed of the 
serpent in the midst of their most violent rage against 
the seed of the woman, and so delivering the seed of the 
woman from them, when in utmost peril by them. 

We read of scarce any great destruction of nations 
any where in scripture, but that one main reason given 
for it is, their enmity and injuries against God s church ; 
and doubtless this was one main reason of the destruc 
tion of all nations by the flood. The giants that were in 
those days, in all likelihood, got themselves their renown 
by their great exploits against Heaven, and against 
Christ and his church, the remaining sons of God that 
had not corrupted themselves. 

We read, that just before the world shall be destroyed 
by fire, the nations that are in the four quarters of the 
earth, shall gather together against the church as the 
sand of the sea, and shall go up on the breadth of the 
earth, and compass the camp of the saints about, and 
the beloved city ; and then fire shall come down from 
God out of heaven, and devour them, Rev. xx. 8, 9. And 
it seems as though there was that which was very par 
allel to it, just before the world was destroyed by water. 
And therefore their destruction was a work of God that 
did as much belong to the work of redemption, as the 
destruction of the Egyptians belonged to the redemption 
of the children of Israel out of Egypt, or as the destruc- 



48 A HISTORY OF THE 

tion of Sennacherib s mighty army, that had compassed 
about Jerusalem to destroy it, belonged to God s re 
demption of that city from them. 

By means of this Mood, all the enemies of God s church, 
against whom that little handful had no strength, were 
swept off at once. God took their part, and appeared 
for them, against their enemies, and drowned those of 
whom they had been afraid, in the flood of water, as he 
drowned the enemies of Israel that pursued them in the 
Red Sea. 

Indeed God could have taken other methods to deliver 
his church. He could have converted all the world in 
stead of drowning it; and so he could have taken an 
other method than drowning the Egyptians in the Red 
Sea. But that is no argument, that the method that he 
did take, was not a method to show his redeeming mercy 
to them. 

By the wicked world s being drowned, the wicked, 
the enemies of God s people, were dispossessed of the 
earth, and the whole earth given to Noah and his family 
to possess in quiet ; as God made room for the Israelites 
m Canaan, by casting out their enemies from before 
them. AndGod s thus taking the possession of the enemies 
of the church and giving it all to his church, was agree 
able to that promise of the covenant of grace: Psa. 
xxxvii. 9, 10, 11. "For evil doers shall be cut off: but 
those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the 
earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall not 
be : yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and 
it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth, and 
shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." 

II. Another thing here belonging to the same work, 
was God s so wonderfully preserving that family of 
which the Redeemer was to proceed, when all the rest 
of the world was drowned. God s drowning the world, 
and saving Noah and his family, both were works re 
ducible to this great work. The saving Noah and his 
family belonged to it two ways. As that family was the 
family of which the Redeemer was to proceed, and as 
that family was the church that he had redeemed, it was 
the mystical body of Christ that was there saved. The 
manner of God s saving those persons, when all the 
world besides was so overthrown, was very wonderful 
and remarkable. It was a wonderful and remarkable 
type of the redemption of Christ, of that redemption that 
Is sealed by the baptism of water, and is so spoken of ia 



\VORK OF REDEMPTION. 49 

the New Testament, as 1 Pet. iii. 20, 21. " Which some 
time were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of 
God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a 
preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved 
by water. The like figure, whereunto, even baptism, 
doth also now save us, (not the putting away of the 
filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience 
towards God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." 
That water that washed away the filth of the world, 
that cleared the world of wicked men, was a type of 
the blood of Christ, that takes away the sin of the 
world. That water that delivered Noah and his sons 
from their enemies, is a type of the blood that delivers 
God s church from their sins, their worst enemies. That 
water that was so plentiful and abundant, that it filled 
the world, and reached above the tops of the highest 
mountains, was a type of that blood, the sufficiency of 
which is so abundant, that it is sufficient for the whole 
world ; sufficient to bury the highest mountains of sin. 
The ark, that was the refuge and hiding place of the 
church in this time of storm and flood, was a type of 
Christ, the true hiding place of the church from the 
storms and floods of God s wrath. 

III. The next thing I would observe is, the new grant 
of the earth God made to Noah and his family immedi 
ately after the flood, as founded on the covenant of grace. 
The sacrifice of Christ was represented by Noah s build 
ing an altar to the Lord, and offering a sacrifice of every 
clean beast, and every clean fowl. And we have an ac 
count of God s accepting this sacrifice: and thereupon 
he blessed Noah, and established his covenant with him, 
and with his seed, promising to destroy the earth in like 
manner no more ; signifying how that it is by the sacri 
fice of Christ that God s favour is obtained, and his peo 
ple are in safety from God s destroying judgments, and 
do obtain the blessing of the Lord. And God now, on 
occasion of this sacrifice that Noah offered to God, gives 
him and his posterity a new grant of the earth ; a new 
power of dominion over the creatures, as founded on 
that sacrifice, and so founded on the covenant of grace. 
And so it is to be looked upon as a diverse grant from 
that which was made to Adam, that we have, Gen. i. 28. 
" And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be 
fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue 
it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over 
the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that 

Q 



50 A HISTORY OF THE 

moveth upon the earth." Which grant was not founded 
on the covenant of grace; for it was given to Adam 
while he was under the covenant of works, and there 
fore was antiquated when that covenant ceased. The 
first grant of the earth to Adam was founded on the first 
covenant ; and therefore, when that first covenant was 
broken, the right conveyed to him by that first covenant 
was forfeited and lost. And hence it came to pass, that 
the earth was taken away from mankind by the flood : 
for the first grant was forfeited ; and God had never 
made another after that, until after the flood. If the first 
covenant had not been broken, God never would have 
drowned the world, and so have taken it away from 
mankind. For then the first grant made to mankind 
would have stood good. But that was broken ; and so 
God, after a while destroyed the earth, when the wicked 
ness of man was great. 

But after the flood, on Noah s offering a sacrifice that 
represented the sacrifice of Christ, God in smelling a 
sweet savour, or accepting that sacrifice, as it was a 
representation of the true sacrifice of Christ, which is a 
sweet savour indeed to God, gives Noah a new grant 
of the earth, founded on that sacrifice of Christ, or that 
covenant of grace which is by that sacrifice of Christ, 
with a promise annexed, that now the earth should no 
more be destroyed, until the consummation of all things; 
as you may see in Gen. viii. 20, 21, 22, and chap. ix. 1, 
2, 3, 7. The reason why such a promise, that God 
would no more destroy the earth, was added to this 
grant made to Noah, and not to that made to Adam, was 
because this was founded on the covenant of grace, of 
which Christ was the surety, and therefore could not be 
broken. And therefore it comes to pass now, that though 
the wickedness of man has dreadfully raged, and the 
earth has been filled with violence and wickedness thou 
sands of times, and one age after another, and much 
more dreadful and aggravated wickedness than the 
world was full of before the flood, being against so much 
greater light and mercy ; especially in these days of the 
gospel; Yet God s patience holds out; God does not de 
stroy the earth; his mercy and forbearance abide ac 
cording to his promise ; and his grant established with 
Noah and his sons abides firm and good, being founded 
on the covenant of grace. 

IV. On this God renews with Noah and his sons the 
covenant of grace, Gen. ix. 9, 10. " And I, behold, I es- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 51 

tablish my covenant with you, and with your seed after 
you, and with every living creature that is with you, &c. 
which was the covenant of grace; which even the brute 
creation have this benefit of, that it shall never be de 
stroyed again until the consummation of all things. 
When we have this expression in scripture, my cove 
nant, it commonly is to be understood of the covenant 
of grace. The manner of expression, " I will establish 
my covenant with you, and with your seed after you," 
shews plainly, that it was a covenant already in being, 
that had been made already, and that Noah would un 
derstand what covenant it was by that denomination, 
viz. the covenant of grace. 

V. God s disappointing the design of building the city 
and tower of Babel. This work "of God belongs to the 
great work of redemption. For that building was un 
dertaken in opposition to this great building of God that 
we are speaking of. Men s going about to build such a 
city and tower was an effect of the corruption that man 
kind were now soon fallen into. This city and tower 
was set up in opposition to the city of God, as the god 
that they built it to, was their pride. Being sunk into a 
disposition to forsake the true God, the first idol they set 
up in his room, was themselves, their own glory and 
fame. And as this city and tower had their foundation 
laid in the pride and vanity of men, and the haughtiness 
of their minds, so it was built on a foundation exceed 
ingly contrary to the nature of the foundation of the 
kingdom of Christ, and his redeemed city, which has its 
foundation laid in humility. 

Therefore God saw that it tended to frustrate the de 
sign of that great building that was founded, not in the 
haughtiness of men, but Christ s blood : and therefore 
the thing that they did displeased the Lord, and he baf 
fled and confounded the design, and did not suffer them 
to bring it to perfection ; as God will frustrate and con 
found all other buildings, that are set up in opposition to 
the great building of the work of redemption. 

In the second chapter of Isaiah, where the prophet is 
foretelling God s setting up the kingdom of Christ in the 
world, he foretells how God will, in order to it, bring 
down the haughtiness of men, and how the day of the 
Lord shall be on every high tower, and upon every 
fenced wall, &c. Christ s kingdom is established, by 
bringing down every high thing to make way for it, 2 
Cor. x. 4, 5. "For the weapons of our warfare are 



52 A HISTORY OF THE 

mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, 
casting down imaginations, and every high thing that 
exalteth itself against the knowledge of God." What is 
done in a particular soul, to make way for the setting 
up of Christ s kingdom, is to destroy Babel in that soul. 

They intended to have built Babel up to heaven. That 
building that is the subject we are upon, is a building 
that is intended to be built so high, that its top shall 
reach to heaven indeed, as it will to the highest heavens 
at the end of the world, when it shall be finished : and 
therefore God would not suffer the building of his ene 
mies, that they designed to build up to heaven in opposi 
tion to it, to prosper. If they had gone on and prospered 
in building that city and tower, it might have kept the 
world of wicked men, the enemies of the church, to 
gether, as that was their design. They might have re 
mained united in one vast, powerful city ; and so they 
might have been too powerful for the city of God, and 
quite swallowed it up. 

This city of Babel is the same with the city of Baby 
lon ; for Babylon in the original is Babel. But Babylon 
was a city that is always spoken of in scripture as chief 
ly opposite to the city of God. Babylon, and Jerusalem, 
or Zion, are opposed to each other often both in the Old 
Testament and New. This city was a powerful and ter 
rible enemy to the city of God afterwards, notwithstand 
ing this great check put to the building of it in the begin 
ning. But it might have been, and probably would have 
been vastly more powerful, and able to vex and destroy 
the church of God, if it had not been thus checked. 

Thus it was in kindness to his church in the world, 
and in prosecution of the great design of redemption, 
that God put a stop to the building of the city and tower 
of Babel. 

VI. The dispersing of the nations and dividing the 
earth among its inhabitants, immediately after God had 
caused the building of Babel to cease. This was done 
so as most to suit that great design of redemption. And 
particularly, God therein had an eye to the future propa 
gation of the gospel among the nations. They were so 
placed, the bounds of their habitation so limited round 
about the land of Canaan, the place laid out for the hab 
itation of God s people, as most suited the design of prop 
agating the gospel among them : Deut. xxxii. 8. " When 
the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, 
when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 53 

of the people according to the number of the children of 
Israel." Acts xvii. 26, 27. " And hath made of one 
blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of 
the earth, and hath determined the times before appoint 
ed, and the bounds of their habitation ; that they should 
seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and 
find him." The land of Canaan was the most conveni 
ently situated of any place in the world for the purpose 
of spreading the light of the gospel thence among the 
nations in general. The inhabited world was chiefly in 
the Roman empire in the times immediately after Christ, 
which was in the countries round about Jerusalem, and 
so properly situated for the purpose of diffusing the light 
of the gospel among them from that place. The devil 
seeing the advantage of this situation of the nations for 
promoting the great work of redemption, and the disad 
vantage of it with respect to the interests of his kingdom, 
afterward led away many nations into the remotest parts 
of the world, to that end, to get them out of the way of 
the gospel. Thus he led some into America ; and others 
into northern cold regions, that are almost inaccessible. 

VII. Another thingl would mention in this period, was 
God s preserving the true religion in the line of which 
Christ was to proceed, when the world in general apos 
tatized to idolatry, and the church was in imminent 
danger of being swallowed up in the general corruption. 
Although God had lately wrought so wonderfully for the 
deliverance of his church, and had shewn so great mercy 
towards it, as for its sake even to destroy all the rest of 
the world ; and although he had lately renewed and es 
tablished his covenant of grace with Noah and his sons; 
yet so prone is the corrupt heart of man to depart from 
God, and to sink into the depths of wickedness, and so 
prone to darkness, delusion, and idolatry, that the world 
soon after the flood fell into gross idolatry ; so that be 
fore Abraham the distemper was become almost univer 
sal. The earth was become very corrupt at the time of 
the building of Babel ; and even God s people themselves, 
even that line of which Christ was to come, were cor 
rupted in a measure with idolatry : Josh. xxiv. 2. " Your 
fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, 
even Terah the father of Abraham, and the father of Na- 
hor ; and they served other gods." The other side of the 
flood means beyond the river Euphrates, where the an 
cestors of Abraham lived. 

We are not to understand, that they were wholly 
5* 



54 A HISTORY OF THE 

drawn off to idolatry, to forsake the true God. For God 
is said to be the God of Nahor : Gen. xxxi. 53. " The 
God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their 
father, judge betwixt us." But they only partook in 
some measure of the general and almost universal cor 
ruption of the times ; as Solomon was in a measure in 
fected with idolatrous corruption; and as the children 
of Israel in Egypt are said to serve other gods, though 
yet there was the true church of God among them ; and 
as there were images kept for a considerable time in the 
family of Jacob ; the corruption being brought from Pa- 
danaram, whence he fetched his wives. 

This was the second time that the church was almost 
brought to nothing by the corruption and general defec 
tion of the world from true religion. But still the true 
religion was kept up in the family of which Christ was 
to proceed. Which is another instance of God s remark 
ably preserving his church in a time of a general deluge 
of wickedness ; and wherein, although the god of this 
world raged, and had almost swallowed up God s church, 
yet God did not suffer the gates of hell to prevail against 
it. 



PART III. 

FROM THE CALLING OF ABRAHAM TO MOSES. 

I PROCEED now to show how the work of redemption was 
carried on through the third period of the times of the 
Old Testament, beginning with the calling of Abraham, 
and extending to Moses. And here, 

I. It pleased God now to separate that person of whom 
Christ was to come, from the rest of the world, that his 
church might be upheld in his family and posterity until 
Christ should come ; as he did in calling Abraham out 
of his own country, and from his kindred, to go into a 
distant country that God should show him, and bringing 
him first out of Ur of the Chaldees to Charran, and then 
to the land of Canaan. 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 55 

It was before observed, that the corruption of the world 
with idolatry was now become general ; mankind were 
almost wholly overrun with idolatry. God therefore saw 
it necessary, in order to uphold true religion in the world, 
that there should be a family separated from the rest of 
the world. It proved to be high time to take this course, 
lest the church of Christ should wholly be carried away 
with the apostasy. For the church of God itself, that had 
been upheld in the line of Abraham s ancestors, was al 
ready considerably corrupted. Abraham s own country 
and kindred had most of them fallen off; and without 
some extraordinary interposition of Providence, in all 
likelihood, in a generation or two more, the true religion 
in this line would have been extinct. And therefore God 
saw it to be time to call Abraham, the person in whose 
family he intended to uphold the true religion, out of his 
own country, and from his kindred, to a far distant 
country, that his posterity might there remain a people 
separate from all the rest of the world ; that so the true 
religion might be upheld there, while all mankind be 
sides were swallowed up in heathenism. 

The land of the Chaldees, that Abraham was called to 
go out of, was the country about Babel ; Babel, or Baby 
lon, was the chief city of the land of Chaldea. Learned 
men suppose, by what they gather from some of the 
most ancient accounts of things, that it was in this land 
that idolatry first began ; that Babel and Chaldea were 
the original and chief seat of the worship of idols, whence 
it spread into other nations. And therefore the land of 
the Chaldeans, or the country of Babylon, is in scripture 
called the land of graven images ; as you may see, Jer. 
1. 35. together with ver. 38. " A sword is upon the Chal 
deans, saith the Lord, and upon the inhabitants of Baby 
lon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men. A 
drought is upon her waters, and they shall be dried up ; 
for if is the land of graven images, and they are mad 
upon their idols." God calls Abraham out of this idola 
trous country, to a great distance from it. And when 
he came there, he gave him no inheritance in it, no not 
so much as to set his foot on ; but he remained a stran 
ger and a sojourner, that he and his family might be 
kept separate from all the world. 

This was a new thing: God had never taken such a 
method before. His church had not in this manner been 
separated from the rest of the world until now ; but were 
wont to dwell with them, without any bar or fence to 



56 A HISTORY OF THE 

keep them separate; the mischievous consequences of 
which had been found once and again. The effect be 
fore the flood, of God s people living intermingled with 
the wicked world, without any remarkable wall of sep 
aration, was, that the sons of the church joined in mar 
riage with others, and thereby almost all soon became 
infected, and the church was almost brought to nothing. 
The method that God took then to fence the church was, 
to drown the wicked world, and save the church in the 
ark. And now the world, before Abraham was called, 
was become corrupt again. But now God took another 
method. He did not destroy the wicked world, and save 
Abraham and his wife, and Lot, in an ark; but he calls 
these persons to go and live separate from the rest of the 
world. 

This was a new thing, and a great thing, that God did 
toward the work of redemption. This thing was done 
now about the middle of the space of time between the 
fall of man and the coming of Christ ; and there were 
about two thousand years yet to come before Christ the 
great Redeemer was to come. But by this calling of 
Abraham, the ancestor of Christ, a foundation was laid 
for the upholding the church of Christ in the world, until 
Christ should come. For the world having become idol 
atrous, there was a necessity that the seed of the woman 
should be thus separated from the idolatrous world in 
order to that. 

And then it was needful that there should be a particu 
lar nation separated from the rest of the world, to receive 
the types and prophecies that were needful to be given 
of Christ, to prepare the way for his coming ; that to 
them might be committed the oracles of God; and that 
by them the history of God s great works of creation 
and providence might be upheld; and that so Christ 
might be born of this nation ; and that from hence the 
light of the gospel might shine forth to the rest of the 
world. These ends could not be well obtained, if God s 
people, through all these two thousand years, had lived 
intermixed with the heathen world. So that this calling 
of Abraham may be looked upon as a kind of a new 
foundation laid for the visible church of God, in a more 
distinct and regular state, to be upheld and built up on 
this foundation from henceforward, until Christ should 
actuall} 7 come, and then through him to be propagated 
to all nations. So that Abraham being the person in 
whom this foundation is laid, is represented in scripture 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 57 

as though he were the father of all the church, the father 
of all them that believe ; as it were a root whence the 
visible church thenceforward through Christ, Abraham s 
root and offspring, rose as a tree, distinct from all other 
plants ; of which tree Christ was the branch of righteous 
ness ; and from which tree, after Christ came, the na 
tural branches were broken off, and the Gentiles were 
grafted into the same tree. So that Abraham still re 
mains the father of the church, or root of the tree, through 
Christ his seed. It is the same tree that flourishes from 
that small beginning, that was in Abraham s time, and 
has in these days of the gospel spread its branches over 
a great part of the earth, and will fill the whole earth in 
due time, and at the end of the world shall be transplant 
ed from an earthly soil into the paradise of God. 

II. There accompanied this a more particular and full 
revelation and confirmation of the covenant of grace than 
ever had been before. There had before this been, as it 
were, two particular and solemn editions or confirma 
tions of this covenant ; one at the beginning of the first 
period, which was that whereby the covenant of grace 
was revealed to our first parents, soon after the fall ; the 
other at the beginning of the second period, whereby 
God solemnly renewed the covenant of grace with Noah 
and his family soon after the flood. And now there is a 
third, at the beginning of the third period, at and after 
the calling of Abraham. And it now being much nearer 
the time of the coming of Christ than when the covenant 
of grace was first revealed, it being, as was said before, 
about halfway between the fall and the coming of Christ, 
the revelation of the covenant now was much more full 
than any that had been before. The covenant was now 
more particularly revealed. It was now revealed, not 
only that Christ should be ; but it was revealed to Abra 
ham, that he should be his seed ; and it was now pro 
mised, that all the families of the earth should be blessed 
in him. And God was much in the promises of this to 
Abraham. The first promise was when he first called 
him, Gen. xii. 2. " And I will make of thee a great na 
tion, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great , 
and thou shalt be a blessing." And again the same pro 
mise was renewed after he came into the land of Canaan, 
chap. xiii. 14. &c. And the covenant was again re 
newed after Abraham had returned from the slaughter 
of the kings, chap. xv. 5, 6. And again, after his offer 
ing up Isaac, chap. xxii. 16, 17, 18. 



58 A HISTORY OF THE 

In this renewal of the covenant of grace with Abra 
ham, several particulars concerning that covenant were 
revealed more fully than ever had been before ; not only 
that Christ was to be of Abraham s seed, but also, the 
calling of the Gentiles, and the bringing all nations into 
the church, that all the families of the earth were to be 
blessed, was now made known. And then the great 
condition of the covenant of grace, which is faith," was 
now more fully made known. Gen. xv. 5, 6. " And he 
said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And Abraham be 
lieved God, and it was counted unto him for righteous 
ness." Which is much taken notice of in the New Tes 
tament, as that whence Abraham was called the father 
of them that believe. 

And as there was now a further revelation of the cove 
nant of grace, so there was a further confirmation of it by 
seals and pledges, than ever had been before ; as, par 
ticularly, God did now institute a certain sacrament, to 
be a steady seal of this covenant in the visible church, 
until Christ should come, viz. circumcision. Circumci 
sion was a seal of this covenant of grace, as appears by 
the first institution, as we have an account of it in the 
xviith chapter of Genesis. It there appears to be a seal 
of that covenant by which God promised to make Abra 
ham a father of many nations, as appears by the 5th 
verse, compared with the 9th and 10th verses. And we 
are expressly taught, that it was a seal of the righteous 
ness of faith, Rom. iv. 11. Speaking of Abraham, the 
apostle says, " he received the sign of circumcision, a 
seal of the righteousness of faith." 

As I observed before, God called Abraham, that his 
family and posterity might be kept separate from the 
rest of the world, until Christ should come, which God 
saw to be necessary on the forementioned accounts. And 
this sacrament was the principal wall of separation ; it 
chiefly distinguished Abraham s seed from the world, 
and kept up a distinction and separation more than any 
other particular observance whatsoever. 

And besides this, there were other occasional seals, 
pledges, and confirmations, that Abraham had of this 
covenant; as, particularly, God gave Abraham a re 
markable pledge of the fulfilment of the promise he had 
made him, in his victory over Chedorlaomer and the 
kings that were with him. Chedorlaomer seems to have 
been a great emperor, that reigned over a great part of 
the world at that day ; and though he had his seat at 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 59 

Elam, which was not much if any thing short of a thou 
sand miles distant from the land of Canaan, yet he ex 
tended his empire so as to reign over many parts of the 
land of Canaan, as appears by chap. xiv. 4, 5, 6, 7. It is 
supposed by learned men, that he was a king of the As 
syrian empire at that day, which had been before begun 
by Nimrod at Babel. And as it was the honour of kings 
in those days to build new cities to be made the seat of 
their empire, as appears by Gen. x. 10, 11, 12. so it is 
conjectured, that he had gone forth and built him a city 
in Elam, and made that his seat ; and that those other 
kings, who came with him, were his deputies in the sev 
eral cities and countries where they reigned. But yet 
as mighty an empire as he had, and as great an army as 
he now came with into the land where Abraham was, 
yet Abraham, only with his trained servants, that were 
born in his own house, conquered, subdued, and baffled 
this mighty emperor, and the kings that came with him, 
and all their army. This he received of God as a pledge 
of what he had promised, viz. the victory that Christ his 
seed should obtain over the nations of the earth, where 
by he should possess the gates of his enemies. It is 
plainly spoken of as such in the xlist of Isaiah. In that 
chapter is foretold the future glorious victory the church 
shall obtain over the nations of the world ; as you may 
see in the 1st, 10th, and 15th verses, &c. But here this 
victory of Abraham over such a great emperor and his 
mighty forces, is spoken of as a pledge and earnest of 
this victory of the church, as you may see in the 2d and 
3d verses. " Who raised up the righteous man from the 
east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, 
and made him rule over kings : He gave them as the 
dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow. He 
pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that 
he had not gone with his feet." 

Another remarkable confirmation Abraham received 
of the covenant of grace, was when he returned from the 
slaughter of the kings ; when Melchisedec the king of 
Salem, the priest of the most high God, that great type 
of Christ, met him, and blessed him, and brought forth 
bread and wine. The bread and wine signified the 
same blessings of the covenant of grace, that the bread 
and wine do in the sacrament of the Lord s supper. 
So that as Abraham had a seal of the covenant in cir 
cumcision that was equivalent to baptism, so now he 
had a seal of it equivalent to the Lord s supper. And 



CO 



A HISTORY OF THE 



Melchisedec s coming to meet him with such a seal of 
the covenant of grace, on the occasion of this victory of 
his over the kings of the north, confirms, that that vic 
tory was a pledge of God s fulfilment of the same cove 
nant; for that is the mercy that Melchisedec with his 
bread and wine takes notice of; as you may see by what 
he says in Gen. xiv. 19, 20. 

Another confirmation that God gave Abraham of the 
covenant of grace, was the vision that he had in the deep 
sleep that fell upon him, of the smoking furnace, and 
burning lamp, that passed between the parts of the sac 
rifice, as in the latter part of the xvth chapter of Genesis. 
The sacrifice, as all sacrifices do, signified the sacrifice 
of Christ. The smoking furnace that passed through 
the midst of that sacrifice first, signified the sufferings 
of Christ. But the burning lamp that followed, which 
shone with a clear bright fight, signifies the glory that 
followed Christ s sufferings, and was procured by them. 

Another remarkable pledge that God gave Abraham 
of the fulfilment of the covenant of grace, was his giving 
of the child of whom Christ was to come, in his old age. 
This is spoken of as such in scripture; Heb. xi. 11, 12. 
and also Rom. iv. 18. &c. 

Again, another remarkable pledge that God gave Ab 
raham of the fulfilment of the covenant of grace, was his 
delivering Isaac, after he was laid upon the wood of the 
sacrifice to be slain. This was a confirmation of Abra 
ham s faith in the promise that God had made of Christ, 
that he should be of Isaac s posterity ; and was a repre 
sentation of the resurrection of Christ ; as you may see, 
Heb. xi. 17, 18, 19. And because this was given as a 
confirmation of the covenant of grace, therefore God re 
newed that covenant with Abraham on this occasion, as 
you may see, Gen. xxiv. 15. &c. 

Thus you see how much more fully the covenant of 
grace was revealed and confirmed in Abraham s time 
than ever it had been before ; by means of which Abra 
ham seems to have had a more clear understanding and 
sight of Christ the great Redeemer, and the future things 
that were to be accomplished by him, than any of the 
saints that had gone before. And therefore Christ takes 
notice of it, that Abraham rejoiced to see his day, and he 
saw it, and was glad, John viii. 56. So great an advance 
did it please God now to make in this building, which he 
had been carrying on from the beginning of the world. 

III. The next thing that I would take notice of here, is 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. Gl 

God s preserving the patriarchs for so long a time in the 
midst of the wicked inhabitants of Canaan, and from all 
other enemies. The patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Ja 
cob, were those of whom Christ was to proceed ; and 
they were now separated from the world, that in them 
his church might be upheld. Therefore, in preserving 
them, the great design of redemption was upheld and 
carried on. He preserved them, and kept the inhabi 
tants of the land where they sojourned from destroying 
them ; which was a remarkable dispensation of Provi 
dence. For the inhabitants of the land were at that day 
exceedingly wicked, though they grew more wicked 
afterwards. This appears by Gen. xv. 16. " In the fourth 
generation they shall come hither again ; for the iniquity 
of the Amorites is not yet full:" as much as to say, 
Though it be very great, yet it is not yet full. And their 
great "wickedness also appears by Abraham and Isaac s 
aversion to their children marrying any of the daughters 
of the land. Abraham, when he was old, could not be 
content until he had made his servant swear that he 
would not take a wife for his son of the daughters of the 
land. And Isaac and Rebecca were content to send, 
away Jacob to so great a distance as Padanaram, to take 
him a wife thence. And when Esau married some of 
the daughters of the land, we are told, that they were a 
grief of mind to Isaac and Rebecca. 

Another argument of their great wickedness, was the 
instances we have in Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and 
Zeboim, which were some of the cities of Canaan, though 
they were probably distinguishingly wicked. 

And they being thus wicked, were likely to have the 
most bitter enmity against these holy men ; agreeable 
to what was declared at first, " I will put enmity between 
thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her 
seed." Their holy lives were a continual condemnation 
of their wickedness. And besides, it could not be other 
wise, but that they must be much in reproving their 
wickedness, as we find Lot was in Sodom ; who, we are 
told, vexed his righteous soul with their unlawful deeds, 
and was a preacher of righteousness to them. 

And they were the more exposed to them, being stran 
gers and sojourners in the land, and having no inherit 
ance there as yet. Men are more apt to find fault with 
strangers, and to be irritated by any thing in them that 
offends them, as they were with Lot in Sodom. He 
very gently reproved their wickedness; and they say 
6 



62 A HISTORY OF THE 

upon it, "This fellow came in to sojourn, and he will 
needs be a ruler and a judge;" and threatened what 
they would do to him. 

But God wonderfully preserved Abraham and Lot, and 
Isaac and Jacob, and their families, amongst them, though 
they were few in number, and they might quickly have 
destroyed them ; which is taken notice of as a wonderful 
instance of God s preserving mercy toward his church, 
Psa. cv. 12. &c. " When they were but a few men in 
number; yea, very few, and strangers in it; when they 
went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to 
another people; he suffered no man to do them wrongs 
yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, saying, Touch 
not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm." 

This preservation was in some instances especially 
very remarkable ; those instances that we have an ac 
count of, wherein the people of the land were greatly ir 
ritated and provoked; as they were by Simeon and Levi s 
treatment of the Shechemites, as you may see in Gen. 
xxxiv. 30. &c. God then strangely preserved Jacob and 
his family, restraining the provoked people by an unu 
sual terror on their minds, as you may see in Gen. xxxv. 
5. " And the terror of God was upon the cities that 
were round about them, and they did not pursue after 
the sons of Jacob." 

And God s preserving them, not only from the Cana- 
anites, is here to be taken notice of, but his preserving 
them from all others that intended mischief to them ; as 
his preserving Jacob and his company, when pursued 
by Laban, full of rage, and a disposition to overtake him 
as an enemy : God met him, and rebuked him, and said 
to him, " Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either 
good or bad." How wonderfully did he also preserve 
him from Esau his brother, when he came forth with an 
army, with a full design to cut him off! How did God, 
in answer to his prayer, when he wrestled with Christ 
at Penuel, wonderfully turn Esau s heart, and make him, 
instead of meeting him as an enemy with slaughter and 
destruction, to meet him as a friend and brother, doing 
him no harm ! 

And thus were this handful, this little root that had the 
blessing of the Redeemer in it, preserved in the midst of 
enemies and dangers ; which was not unlike to the pre 
serving the ark in the midst of the tempestuous deluge. 

IV. The next thing I would mention is, the awful de 
struction of Sodom land Gomorrah, and the neighbour- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 63 

ing cities. This tended to promote the great design and 
work that is the subject of my present undertaking, two 
ways. It did so, as it tended powerfully to restrain the 
inhabitants of the land from injuring those holy stran- 

Eers that God had brought to sojourn amongst them, 
ot was one of those strangers ; he came into the land 
with Abraham ; and Sodom was destroyed for their abu 
sive disregard of Lot, the preacher of righteousness, that 
God had sent among them. And their destruction came 
just upon their committing a most injurious and abom 
inable insult on Lot, and the strangers that were come 
into his house, even those angels, whom they probably 
took to be some of Lot s former acquaintance come from 
the country that he came from, to visit him. They in a 
most outrageous manner beset Lot s house, intending a 
monstrous abuse and act of violence on those strangers 
that were come thither, and threatening to serve Lot 
worse than them. 

But in the midst of this.God smote them with blind 
ness ; and the next morning the city and the country 
about it was overthrown in a most terrible storm of fire 
and brimstone ; which dreadful destruction, as it was in 
the sight of the rest of the inhabitants of the land, and 
therefore greatly tended to restrain them from hurting 
those holy strangers any more, doubtless struck a 
dread and terror on their minds, and made them afraid 
to hurt them, and probably was one principal means to 
restrain them, and preserve the patriarchs. And when 
that reason is given why the inhabitants of the land did 
not pursue after Jacob, when they were so provoked by 
the destruction of the Shechemites, viz. "that the terror 
of the Lord was upon them," it is very probable, that 
this was the terror that was set home upon them. They 
remembered the amazing destruction of Sodom, and the 
cities of the plain, that came upon them upon their abus 
ive treatment of Lot, and so durst not hurt Jacob and 
his family, though they were so much provoked to it. 

Another way that this awful destruction tended to 
promote this great affair of redemption, was, that here 
by God did remarkably exhibit the terrors of his law, to 
make men sensible of their need of redeeming mercy. 
The work of redemption never was carried on without 
this. The law, from the beginning, is made use of as a 
schoolmaster to bring men to Christ. 

But under the Old Testament there was much more 
need of some extraordinary, visible, and sensible mani- 



64 A HISTORY OF THE 

festation of God s wrath against sin, than in the days of 
the gospel ; since a future state, and the eternal misery 
of hell, are more clearly revealed, and since the awful jus 
tice of God against the sins of men has been so wonder 
fully displayed in the sufferings of Christ. And there 
fore the revelation that God gave of himself in those 
days, used to be accompanied "with much more terror 
than it is in these days of the gospel. So when God ap 
peared at Mount Sinai to give the law, it was with thun 
ders and lightnings, and a thick cloud, and the voice of 
the trumpet exceeding loud. But some external awful 
manifestations of God s wrath against sin were on some 
accounts especially necessary before the giving of the 
law : and therefore, before the flood, the terrors of the 
law handed down by tradition from Adam served. Adam 
lived nine hundred and thirty years himself, to tell the 
church of God s awful threatenings denounced in the 
covenant made with him, and how dreadful the conse 
quences of the fall were, as he was an eye witness and 
subject ; and others, that conversed with Adam, lived 
until the flood. And the destruction of the world by the 
flood served to exhibit the terrors of the law, and mani 
fest the wrath of God against sin ; and so to make men 
sensible of the absolute necessity of redeeming mercy. 
And some that saw the flood were alive in Abraham s 
time. 

But this was now in a great measure forgotten ; now 
therefore God was pleased again, in a most amazing 
manner, to show his wrath against sin, in the destruc 
tion of these cities ; which was after such a manner as 
to be the liveliest image of hell of any thing that ever 
had been; and therefore the apostle Jude says, "They 
suffer the vengeance of eternal fire," Jude 7. God rain 
ed storms of fire and brimstone upon them. The way 
that they were destroyed probably was by thick flashes 
of lightning. The streams of brimstone were so thick 
as to burn up all these cities ; so that they perished in 
the flames of divine wrath. By this might be seen the 
dreadful wrath of God against the ungodliness and un 
righteousness of men ; which tended to show men the 
necessity of redemption, and so to promote that great 
work. 

V. God again renewed and confirmed the covenant 
of grace to Isaac and to Jacob. He did so to Isaac, as 
you may see, Gen. xxvi. 3, 4. " And I will perform the 
oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; and I will 



WORK OP REpEMPTlON. 65 

make thy seed to multiply as the stars in heaven, and 
will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy 
seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." And 
afterwards it was renewed and confirmed to Jacob; first 
in Isaac s blessing of him, wherein he acted and spoke 
by extraordinary divine direction. In that blessing, the 
blessings of the covenant of grace were established with 
Jacob and his seed; as Gen. xxvii. 29. "Let people 
serve thee, and nations bow down to thee; be lord over 
thy brethren, and let thy mother s sons bow down to 
thee : cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed 
be he that blesseth thee." And therefore Esau, in miss 
ing of this blessing, missed of being blessed as an heir 
of the benefits of the covenant of grace. 

This covenant was again renewed and confirmed to 
Jacob at Bethel, in his vision of the ladder that reached 
to heaven ; which ladder was a symbol of the way of 
salvation by Christ. For the stone that Jacob rested on 
was a type of Christ, the stone of Israel, which the spi 
ritual Israel or Jacob rests upon ; as is evident, because 
this stone was on this occasion anointed, and was made 
use of as an altar. But we know that Christ is the an 
ointed of God, and is the only true altar of God. While 
Jacob was resting on this stone, and saw this ladder, 
God appears to him as his covenant God, and renews 
the covenant of grace with him; as in Gen. xxviii. 14. 
"And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth ; and 
thou shaft spread abroad to the west, and to the east, 
and to the north, and to the south ; and in thee and in 
thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." 

And Jacob had another remarkable confirmation of 
this covenant at Penuel, where he wrestled with God, 
and prevailed ; where Christ appeared to him in a hu 
man form, in the form of that nature which he was after 
wards to receive into a personal union with his divine 
nature. 

And God renewed his covenant with him again, after 
he was come out of Padanaram, and was come up to 
Bethel, to the stone that he had rested on, and where he 
had the vision of the ladder; as you may see in Gen. 
xxxv. 10. &c. 

Thus the covenant of grace was now often renewed, 
much oftener than it had been before. The light of the 
gospel now began to shine much brighter, as the time 
drew nearer that Christ should come. 

VI. The next thing I would observe, is God s remark- 
6* 



66 A HISTORY OF THE 

ably preserving the family of which Christ was to pro 
ceed from perishing by famine, by the instrumentality 
of Joseph. When there was a seven years famine ap 
proaching, God was pleased, by a wonderful providence, 
to send Joseph into Egypt, there to provide for, and feed 
Jacob and his family^ and to keep the holy seed alive, 
which otherwise would have perished. Joseph was sent 
into Egypt for that end, as he observes, Gen. 1. 20. "But 
as for you, ye thought evil against me ; but God meant 
it unto good, to save much people alive." How often 
had this holy root, that had the future branch of right 
eousness, the glorious Redeemer, in it, been in danger 
of being destroyed ! But God wonderfully preserved it. 

This salvation of the house of Israel by the hand of 
Joseph, was upon some accounts very much a resem 
blance of the salvation of Christ. The children of Israel 
were saved by Joseph their kinsman and brother, from 
perishing by famine ; as he that saves the souls of the 
spiritual Israel from spiritual famine is their near kins 
man, and one that is not ashamed to call them brethren. 
Joseph was a brother, that they had hated, and sold, and 
as it were killed ; for they had designed to kill him. So 
Christ is one that we naturally hate, and, by our wicked 
lives, have sold for the vain things of the world, and that 
by our sins we have slain. Joseph was first in a state 
of humiliation; he was a servant, as Christ appeared in 
the form of a servant ; and then was cast into a dungeon, 
as Christ descended into the grave ; and then when he 
rose out of the dungeon, he was in a state of great exal 
tation, at the king s right hand as his deputy, to reign 
over all his kingdom, to provide food, to preserve life ; 
and being in this state of exaltation, he dispenses food to 
his brethren, and so gives them life ; as Christ was ex 
alted at God s right hand to be a prince and saviour to 
his brethren, and received gifts for men, even for the re 
bellious, and them that hated, and had sold him. 

VII. After this there was a prophecy given forth of 
Christ, on some accounts, more particular than ever any 
had been before, even that which was in Jacob s blessing 
his son Judah. This was more particular than ever any 
had been before, as it showed of whose posterity he was 
to be. When God called Abraham, it was revealed that he 
was to be of Abraham s posterity. Before, we have no 
account of any revelation concerning Christ s pedigree, 
confined to narrower limits than the posterity of Noah : 
after this it was confined to still narrower limits; for 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 67 

though Abraham had many sons, yet it was revealed, 
that Christ was to be of Isaac s posterity. And then it 
was limited more still: for when Isaac had two sons, it 
was revealed that Christ was to be of Israel s posterity. 
And now, though Israel had twelve sons, yet it is reveal 
ed that Christ should be of Judah s posterity; Christ is 
the lion of the tribe of Judah. Respect is chiefly had to 
his great acts, when it is said here, Gen. xlix. 8. "Judah, 
thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise ; thy hand 
shall be in the neck of thine enemies: thy father s child 
ren shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion s 
whelp ; from the prey, my son, thou art gone up : he 
stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion. 
Who shall rouse him up]" And then this prediction is 
more particular concerning the time of Christ s coming, 
than any had been before; as in ver. 10. "The sceptre 
shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from be 
tween his feet, until Shiloh come ; and unto him shall the 
gathering of the people be." The prophecy here, of the 
calling of the Gentiles consequent on Christ s coming, 
seems to be more plain than any had been before, in the 
expression, to him shall the gathering of the people be. 

Thus you see how that gospel light which dawned 
immediately after the fall of man, gradually increases. 

VIII. The work of redemption was carried on in this 
period, in God s wonderfully preserving the children of 
Israel in Egypt, when the power of Egypt was engaged 
utterly to destroy them. They seemed to be wholly in 
the hands of the Egyptians ; they were their servants, 
and were subject to the power of Pharaoh : and Pharaoh 
set himself to weaken them with hard bondage. And 
when he saw that did not do, he set himself to extirpate 
the race of them, by commanding that every male child 
should be drowned. But after all that Pharaoh could 
do, God wonderfully preserved them ; and not only so, 
but increased them exceedingly; so that, instead of be 
ing extirpated, they greatly multiplied. 

IX. Here is to be observed, not only the preservation 
of the nation, but God s wonderfully preserving and up 
holding his invisible church in that nation, when in dan 
ger of being overwhelmed in the idolatry of Egypt. The 
children of Israel being long among the Egyptians, and 
being servants under them, and so not under advantages 
to keep God s ordinances among themselves, and main 
tain any public worship or public instruction, whereby 
the true religion might be upheld, and there being now 



68 A HISTORY OF THE 

no written word of God, they, by degrees, in a great 
measure lost the true religion, and borrowed the idolatry 
of Egypt; and the greater part of the people fell away to 
the worship of their gods. This we learn by Ezek. xx. 
0, 7, 8. and by chap, xxiii. 8. 

This now was the third time that God s church was 
almost swallowed up and carried away with the wicked 
ness of the world ; once before the flood ; the other time, 
before the calling of Abraham; and now, the third time, 
in Egypt. But yet God did not suffer his church to be 
quite overwhelmed; he still saved it, like the ark in the 
flood, and as he saved Moses in the midst of the waters, 
in an ark of bulrushes, where he was in the utmost dan 
ger of being swallowed up. The true religion was still 
kept up with some ; and God had still a people among 
them, even in this miserable, corrupt, and dark time. 
The parents of Moses were true servants of God, as we 
may learn by Heb. xi. 23. " By faith Moses, when he 
was born, was hid three months of his parents, because 
they saw that he was a proper child ; and they were not 
afraid of the king s commandment." 

I have now gone through the third period of the Old 
Testament time; and have shown how the work of re 
demption was carried on from the calling of Abraham 
to Moses ; in which we have seen many great things 
done towards this work, and a great advancement of 
this building, beyond what had been before. 



PART IV. 

FROM MOSES TO DAVID. 

I PROCEED to the fourth period, which reaches from Mo 
ses to David. I would show how the work of redemp 
tion was carried on through this also. 

I. The first thing that offers itself to be considered, is 
the redemption of the church of God out of Egypt ; the 
most remarkable of all the Old Testament redemptions 
of the church of God, and that which was the greatest 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 69 

pledge and forerunner of the future redemption of Christ, 
of any; and is much more insisted on in scripture than 
any other of those redemptions. And indeed it was the 
greatest type of Christ s redemption of any providential 
event whatsoever. This redemption was by Jesus 
Christ, as is evident from this, that it was wrought by 
him that appeared to Moses in the bush ; for that was 
the person that sent Moses to redeem that people. But 
that was Christ, as is evident, because he is called the 
angel of the Lord, Ex. iii. 2, 3. The bush represented 
the human nature of Christ, that is called the branch. 
The bush grew on Mount Sinai or Horeb, which is a 
word that signifies a dry place, as the human nature of 
Christ was a root out of a dry ground. The bush burn 
ing with fire, represented the sufferings of Christ, in the 
fire of God s wrath. It burned and was not consumed; 
so Christ, though he suffered extremely, yet perished 
not ; but overcame at last, and rose from his sufferings. 
Because this great mystery of the incarnation and suf 
ferings of Christ was here represented, therefore Moses 
says, " I will turn aside, and behold this great sight." A 
great sight he might well call it, when there was repre 
sented, God manifest in the flesh, and suffering a dread 
ful death, and rising from the dead. 

This glorious Redeemer was he that redeemed the 
church out of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh; 
as Christ, by his death and sufferings, redeemed his peo 
ple from Satan, the spiritual Pharaoh. He redeemed 
them from hard service and cruel drudgery ; as Christ 
redeems his people from the cruel slavery of sin and Sa 
tan. He redeemed them, as it is said, from the iron fur 
nace; as Christ redeems his church from a furnace of 
fire and everlasting burnings. He redeemed them with 
a strong hand and outstretched arm, and great and ter 
rible judgments on their enemies; as Christ with mighty 
power triumphs over principalities and powers, and ex 
ecutes terrible judgments on his church s enemies, bruis 
ing the serpent s head. He saved them, when others 
were destroyed, by the sprinkling of the blood of the 
paschal lamb; as God s church is saved from death by 
the sprinkling of the blood of Christ, when the rest of the 
world is destroyed. God brought forth the people sore 
ly against the will of the Egyptians, when they could 
not bear to let them go; so Christ rescues his people out 
of the hands of the devil, sorely against his will, when 
his proud heart cannot bear to be overcome. 



70 



A HISTORY OF THE 



In that redemption, Christ did not only redeem the 
people from the Egyptians, but he redeemed them from 
the devils, the gods of Egypt ; for before, they had been 
in a state of servitude to the gods of Egypt, as well as to 
the men. And Christ, the seed of the woman, did now, 
in a very remarkable manner, fulfil the curse on the ser 
pent in bruising his head: Ex. xii. 12. "For I will pass 
through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all 
the first born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast, 
and against all the gods of Egypt will I execute judg 
ment." Hell was as much and more engaged in that af 
fair, than Egypt was. The pride and cruelty of Satan, 
that old serpent, was more concerned in it than Pha 
raoh s. He did his utmost against the people, and to his 
utmost opposed their redemption. But it is said, that 
when God redeemed his people out of Egypt, he broke 
the heads of the dragons in the waters, and broke the 
head of leviathan in pieces, and gave him to be meat for 
the people inhabiting the wilderness, Psa. Ixxiv. 12, 13, 
14. God forced their enemies to lej them go, that they 
might serve him; as also Zacharias observes with re 
spect to the church under the gospel, Luke i. 74, 75. 

The people of Israel went out with an high hand, and 
Christ went before them in a pillar of cloud and fire. 
There was a glorious triumph over earth and hell in that 
deliverance. And when Pharaoh and his hosts, and Sa 
tan by them, pursued the people, Christ overthrew them 
in the Red Sea; the Lord triumphed gloriously; the 
horse and his rider he cast into the sea, and there they 
slept their last sleep, and never followed the children of 
Israel any more ; as all Christ s enemies are overthrown 
in his blood, which by its abundant sufficiency, and the 
greatness of the sufferings with which it was shed, may 
well be represented by a sea. The Red Sea did repre 
sent Christ s blood, as is evident, because the apostle 
compares the children of Israel s passage through the 
Red Sea to baptism, 1 Cor. x. 1,2. But we all know 
that the water of baptism represents Christ s blood. 

Thus Christ, the angel of God s presence, in his love 
and his pity, redeemed his people, and carried them in 
the days of old as on eagles wings, so that none of their 
proud and spiteful enemies, neither Egyptians nor devils, 
could touch them. 

This was quite a new thing that God did towards this 
great work of redemption. God never had done any 
ihing like it before ; Deut. iv. 32, 33, 34. This was a 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 71 

great advancement of the work of redemption, that had 
been begun and carried on from the fall of man ; a great 
step taken in divine providence towards a preparation 
for Christ s coming into the world, and working out his 
great and eternal redemption : for this was the people of 
whom Christ was to come. And now we may see how 
that plant flourished that God had planted in Abraham. 
Though the family of which Christ was to come, had 
been in a degree separated from the rest of the world be 
fore, in the calling of Abraham ; yet that separation that 
was then made, appeared not to be sufficient, without 
further separation. For though by that separation, they 
were kept as strangers and sojourners, kept from being 
united with other people in the same political societies; 
yet they remained mixed among them, by which means, 
as it had proved, they had been in danger of wholly los 
ing the true religion, and of being overrun with the idol 
atry of their neighbours. God now, therefore, by this 
redemption, separated them as a nation from all other 
nations, to subsist by themselves in their own political 
and ecclesiastical state, without having any concern 
with the heathen nations, that they might so be kept 
separate until Christ should come; and so that the 
church of Christ might be upheld, and might keep the 
oracles of God, until that time ; that in them might be 
kept up those types and prophecies of Christ, and those 
histories, and other divine previous instructions, that 
were necessary to prepare the way for Christ s coming. 
II. As this people were separated to be God s peculiar 
people, so all other people upon the face of the whole 
earth were wholly rejected and given over to heathen 
ism. This, so far as the providence of God was con 
cerned in it, belongs to the great affair of redemption 
that we are upon, and was one thing that God ordered 
in his providence to prepare the way for Christ s com 
ing, and the great salvation he was to accomplish in the 
world ; for it was only to prepare the way for the more 
glorious and signal victory and triumph of Christ s pow 
er and grace over the wicked and miserable world, and 
that Christ s salvation of the world of mankind might 
become the more sensible. This is the account the 
scripture itself gives us of the matter, Rom. xi. 30, 31, 
32. The apostle there speaking to the Gentiles that had 
formerly been heathens, says, " As ye in times past have 
not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through 
their unbelief; even so have these also now not belie v- 



72 A HISTORY OF THE 

ed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy, 
For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he 
might have mercy upon all." i. e. It was the will of God. 
that the whole world, Jews and Gentiles, should be con 
cluded in visible and professed unbelief, that so God s 
mercy and Christ s salvation towards them all might be 
visible and sensible. For the apostle is not speaking 
only of that unbelief that is natural to all God s profess 
ing people as well as others, but that which appears, and 
is visible; such as the Jews fell into, when they openly 
rejected Christ, and ceased to be a professing people. 
The apostle observes, how that first the Gentiles, even 
the Gentile nations, were included in a professed unbe 
lief and open opposition to the true religion, before Christ 
came, to prepare the way for the calling of the Gentiles, 
which was soon after Christ came, that God s mercy 
might be the more visible to them ; and that the Jews 
were rejected, and apostatized from the visible church, 
to prepare the way for the calling of the Jews, which 
shall be in the latter days : so that it may be seen of all 
nations, Jews and Gentiles, that they are visibly redeem 
ed by Christ, from being visibly aliens from the common 
wealth of Israel, without hope, and without God in the 
world. 

We cannot certainly determine precisely at what time 
the apostasy of the Gentile nations from the true God, or 
their being concluded in visible unbelief, became univer 
sal. Their falling away was a gradual thing, as we ob 
served before. It was general in Abraham s time, but 
not universal : for then we find Melchisedec, one of the 
kings of Canaan, was priest of the most high God. And 
after this the true religion was kept up for a while among 
some of the rest of Abraham s posterity, besides the fam 
ily of Jacob; and also in some of the posterity of Nahor, 
as we have instances of, in Job, and his three friends, 
and Elihu. The land of Uz, where Job Jived, was a land 
possessed by the posterity of Uz, or Huz, the son of Na 
hor, Abraham s brother, of whom we read, Gen. xxii. 
21. Bildad the Shuhite was of the offspring of Shuah, 
Abraham s son by Keturah, Gen. xxv. 1, 2. and Elihu 
the Bnzite, was of Buz the son of Nahor, the brother of 
Abraham. So the true religion lasted among some other 
people, besides the Israelites, a while after Abraham. 
But it did not last long: and it is probable that the time 
of their total rejection, and giving up to idolatry, was 
about the time when God separated the children of Is- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 73 

rael from Egypt to serve him ; for they are often put in 
mind on that occasion, that God had now separated them 
to be his peculiar people : or to be distinguished from all 
other people upon earth, to be his people alone : to be 
his portion, when others were rejected. This seems to 
hold forth thus much to us, that God now chose them in 
such a manner, that this visible choice of them was ac 
companied with a visible rejection of all other nations in 
the world ; that God visibly came, and took up his resi 
dence with them, as forsaking all other nations. 

And so, as the first calling of the Gentiles after Christ 
came, was accompanied with a rejection of the Jews; so 
the first calling of the Jews to be God s people, when 
they were called out of Egypt, was accompanied with a 
rejection of the Gentiles. 

Thus all the Gentile nations throughout the whole 
world, all nations, but only the Israelites, and those that 
embodied themselves with them, were left and given up 
to idolatry ; and so continued a great many ages, even 
from this time until Christ came, which was about fifteen 
hundred years. They were concluded so long a time in 
unbelief, that there might be a thorough proof of the ne 
cessity of a saviour ; that it might appear by so long a 
trial, past all contradiction, that mankind were utterly 
insufficient to deliver themselves from that gross dark 
ness and misery, and subjection to the devil, that they 
had fallen under; that it might appear that all the wis 
dom of the philosophers, and the wisest men that the 
heathen had among them, could not deliver them from 
their darkness, for the greater glory to Jesus Christ, 
who, when he came, enlightened and delivered them by 
his glorious gospel. Herein the wonderful wisdom of 
God appeared, in thus preparing the way for Christ s re 
demption. This the scripture teaches us, as in 1 Cor. i. 
21. "For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by 
wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness 
of preaching to save them that believe." 

Here I might consider as another work of God, where 
by the general work of redemption was carried on, that 
wonderful deliverance which he wrought for the children 
of Israel at the Red Sea, when they were pursued by the 
hosts of the Egyptians, and were just ready to be swal 
lowed up by them, there being, to human appearance 
no possibilty of an escape. Rut as this may be referred 
to their redemption out of Egypt, and considered as a 



74 A HISTORY OF THE 

part of that more general work, I shall not further en 
large upon it. 

111. The next thing that I shall take notice of here, that 
was done towards the work of redemption, is God s giv 
ing the moral law in so awful a manner at Mount Sinai. 
This was another new thing that God did, a new step 
taken in this great affair. Deut. iv. 33. "Did ever a peo 
ple hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of 
the fire, as thou hast heard, and live]" And it was a 
great thing that God did towards this work, and that 
whether we consider it as delivered as a new exhibition 
of the covenant of works, or given as a rule of life. 

The covenant of works was here exhibited to be as a 
schoolmaster to lead to Christ, not only for the use of 
that nation in the ages of the Old Testament, but for the 
use of God s church throughout all ages of the world; as 
an instrument that the great Redeemer makes use of to 
convince men of their sin and misery, and helpless state, 
and of God s awful and tremendous majesty and justice 
as a lawgiver, and so to make men sensible of the neces 
sity of Christ as a saviour. The work of redemption, in 
its saving effect on men s souls, in all the progress of it 
to the end of it, is not carried on without the use of this 
law that was now delivered at Sinai. 

It was given in an awful manner, with a terrible voice, 
exceedingly loud and awful, so that all the people that 
were in the camp trembled ; and Moses himself, though 
so intimate a friend of God, yet said, I exceedingly fear 
and quake; the voice being accompanied with thunders 
and lightnings, the mountain burning with fire to the 
midst of heaven, and the earth itself shaking and trem 
bling; to make all sensible how great that authority, 
power, and justice was, that stood engaged to exact the 
fulfilment of this law, and to see it fully executed ; and 
how strictly God would require the fulfilment ; and how 
terrible his wrath would be against every breaker of it ; 
that men being sensible of these things, might have a 
thorough trial of themselves, and might prove their own 
hearts, and know how impossible it is for them to have 
salvation by the works of the law, and might see the ab 
solute necessity they stood in of a mediator. 

If we regard this law now given at Mount Sinai, not 
as the covenant of works, but as a rule of life ; so it is 
made use of by the Redeemer, from that time to the end 
of the world, as a directory to his people, to show them 
the way in which they must walk as they would go to 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 75 

heaven : for a way of sincere and universal obedience 
to this law is the narrow way that leads to life. 

IV*. The next thing that is observable in this period, 
was God s giving the typical law, in which I suppose to 
be included most or all those precepts that were given 
by Moses, that did not properly belong to the moral law; 
not only those laws that are commonly called ceremo 
nial, in distinction from judicial laws, which are the laws 
prescribing the ceremonies and circumstances of the 
Jewish worship, and their ecclesiastical state ; but also 
many, if not all those divine laws that were political, and 
for regulating the Jewish commonwealth, commonly 
called judicial laws; these were at best many of them 
typical. The giving this typical law was another great 
thing that God did in this period, tending to build up this 
glorious structure of redemption that God had been 
carrying on from the beginning of the world. There 
had been many typical events of providence before, that 
represented Christ and his redemption, and some typical 
ordinances, as particularly those two of sacrifices and 
circumcision : but now, instead of representing the great 
Redeemer in a few institutions, God gives forth a law 
full of nothing else but various and innumerable typical 
representations of good things to come, by which that 
nation were directed how, every year, month, and day, 
in their religious actions, and in their conduct of them 
selves, in all that appertained to their ecclesiastical and 
civil state, to show forth something of Christ ; one ob 
servance showing one thing, exhibiting one doctrine, or 
one benefit ; another, another : so that the whole nation 
by this law was, as it were, constituted in a typical state. 
Thus the gospel was abundantly held forth to that na 
tion ; so that there is scarce any doctrine of it, but is 
particularly taught and exhibited by some observance 
of this law , though it was in shadows, and under a veil, 
as Moses put a veil on his face when it shone. 

To this typical law belong all the precepts that relate 
to building the tabernacle, that was set up in the wilder 
ness, and all the form, circumstances, and utensils of it. 

V. About this time was given to God s church the first 
written word of God that ever was enjoyed by God s 
people. This was another great thing done towards the 
affair of redemption, a new and glorious advancement 
of the building. Not far from this time, was the begin 
ning of the great written rule, which God has given for 
the regulation of the faith, worship, and practice of his 



76 A HISTORY OF THE 

church in all ages henceforward to the end of the world; 
which rule grew, and was added to from that time, for 
many ages, until it was finished, and the canon of scrip 
ture completed by the apostle John. It is not very ma 
terial, whether the first written word that ever was, was 
the ten commandments written on the tables of stone 
with the finger of God, or the book of Job; and whether 
the book of Job was written by Moses, as some suppose, 
or by Elihu, as others. If it was written by Elihu, it was 
written before this period that we are now upon ; but 
yet could not be far from it, as appears by considering 
whose posterity the persons were that are spoken of in 
it, together with Job s great age, that was past before this 
was written. 

The written word of God is the main instrument 
Christ has made use of to carry on his work of redemp 
tion in all ages since it was given. There was a neces 
sity now of the word of God being committed to writ 
ing, for a steady rule to God s church. Before this, the 
church had the word of God by tradition, either by im 
mediate tradition from eminent men that were inspired, 
that were then living, (for it was a common thing in 
those days, before there was a written word, for God to 
reveal himself immediately to eminent persons, as ap 
pears by the book of Job, and many other things that 
might be mentioned, in the book of Genesis,) or else they 
had it by tradition from former generations, which 
might be had with tolerable certainty in ages preceding 
this, by reason of the long lives of men. Noah might 
converse with Adam, and receive traditions from him ; 
and Noah lived until about Abraham s time: and the 
sons of Jacob lived a considerable time to deliver the 
revelations made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to their 
posterity in Egypt. But the distance from the begin 
ning of things was become so great, and the lives of men 
become so short, being brought down to the present 
standard about Moses s time, and God having now sep 
arated a nation to be a peculiar people, partly for that 
end to be the keepers of the oracles of God ; God saw it 
to be a needful and convenient time now to commit his 
word to writing, to remain henceforward for a steady 
rule throughout all ages. And therefore, besides the 
book of Job, Christ wrote the ten commandments on 
tables of stone, with his own finger; and after this the 
whole law, as containing the substance of the five books 
of Moses, was by God s special command committed to 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 77 

writing, which was called the book of the law, and was 
laid up in the tabernacle, to be kept there for the use of 
the church ; as you may see, Deut. xxxi, 24, 25, 26. 

VI. God was pleased now wonderfully to represent 
the progress of his redeemed church through the world 
to their eternal inheritance, by the journey of the child 
ren of Israel through the wilderness, from Egypt to Ca 
naan. Here all the various steps of the redemption of 
the church by Christ were represented, from the begin 
ning to its consummation in glory. The state they are 
redeemed from is represented by Egypt, and their bond 
age there, which they left. The purchase of their re 
demption was represented by the sacrifice of the paschal 
lamb, which was offered up that night that God slew all 
the first born of Egypt. The beginning of the applica 
tion of the redemption of Christ s church in their conver 
sion, was represented by Israel s going out of Egypt, and 
passing through the Red Sea in so extraordinary and 
miraculous a manner. The travel of the church through 
this evil world, and the various changes through which 
the church passes, in the different stages of it, were repre 
sented by the journey of the Israelites through the wild 
erness. The manner of their being conducted by Christ, 
was represented by the Israelites being led by the pillar 
of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night. The 
manner of the church s being supported in their pro 
gress, and supplied from the beginning to the end of it, 
with spiritual food, and continual daily communications 
from God, was represented by God s supplying the child 
ren of Israel with bread, or manna, from heaven, and 
water out of the rock. The dangers that the saints 
must meet with in their course through the world, were 
represented by the fiery flying serpents which the child 
ren of Israel met with in the wilderness. The conflicts 
the church has with her enemies, were represented by 
their battle with the Amalekites, and others they met 
with there. And so innumerable other things might be 
mentioned, wherein the things they met with were lively 
images of things which the church and saints meet with 
in all ages of the world. That these things are typical 
of things that pertain to the Christian church, is manifest 
from 1 Cor. x. 11. "Now all these things happened unto 
them from ensamples, and they were written for our ad 
monition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 
Here the apostle is speaking of those very things which 
we have now mentioned, and he says expressly, that 



78 A HISTORY OF THE 

they happened unto them for types; so it is in the 
original. 

VII. Another thing here must not be omitted, which was 
a great and remarkable dispensation of providence, re 
specting the whole world of mankind, which was finished 
in this period ; and that was, the shortening the days of 
man s life, whereby it was brought down from being be 
tween nine hundred and a thousand years, to be but about 
seventy or eighty. The life of man began to be short 
ened immediately after the flood: it was brought down 
the first generation to six hundred years, and the next 
to between four and five hundred years; and so the life 
of man gradually grew shorter and shorter; until about 
the time of the great mortality that was in the congrega 
tion of Israel, after they had murmured at the report of 
the spies, and their carcasses fell in the wilderness, 
whereby all the men of war died ; and then the life of 
man was reduced to its present standard, as Moses ob 
serves in that psalm that he wrote on occasion of that 
mortality: Psa. xc. 10. "The days of our years are 
threescore years and ten ; and if by reason of strength 
they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and 
sorrow : for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." 

This great dispensation of God tended to promote the 
grand design of the redemption of Christ. Man s life be 
ing cut so very short in this world, tended to prepare the 
way for poor, mortal, shortlived men, the more joyfully 
to entertain the glad tidings of everlasting life in another 
world, that are brought to light by the gospel ; and more 
readily to embrace a saviour, that purchases and offers 
such a blessing. If men s lives were still commonly 
about nine hundred years, How much less would they 
have to move them to regard the proffers of a future life ; 
how much greater temptation would they have to rest 
in the things of this world, they being of such long con 
tinuance, and to neglect any other life but this? This 
probably contributed greatly to the wickedness of the 
antediluvians. But now, how much greater motives 
have men to seek redemption, and a better life than this, 
by the great Redeemer, since the life of man is not one 
twelfth part of what it used to be, and men now univer 
sally die at the age when men formerly used to be but 
as it were setting out in the world ! 

VIII. The same work was carried on in preserving 
that people, of whom Christ was to come, from totally 
perishing in the wilderness, by a constant miracle of 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 79 

forty years continuance. I observed before many times, 
how God preserved those of whom the Redeemer was 
to proceed in a very wonderful manner; as he preserved 
Noah and his family from the flood ; and as he preserved 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with their families, from the 
wicked inhabitants of Canaan ; and as he preserved Ja 
cob and his family from perishing by the famine, by Jo 
seph in Egypt. But this preservation of the children of 
Israel for so long a time in the wilderness, was on some 
accounts more remarkable than any of them; for it was 
by a continual miracle of so long duration. There was, 
as may be fairly computed, at first two millions of souls 
in that congregation, that could not subsist any better 
without meat and drink than other men. But if this had 
been withheld, they must all have perished, every man, 
woman, and child, in less than one month s time, so that 
there would not have been one of them left. But yet 
this vast multitude subsisted for forty years together, in 
a dry barren wilderness, without sowing or reaping, or 
tilling any land, having their bread daily rained down to 
them out of heaven, and being furnished with water to 
satisfy them all, out of a rock ; and the same clothes 
with which they came out of Egypt, lasting, without 
wearing out all that time. Never was any instance like 
this, of a nation being so upheld for so long a time to 
gether. Thus God upheld his church by a continual 
miracle, and kept alive that people in whom was the 
blessing, the promised seed, and great Redeemer of the 
world. 

IX. God was pleased, in this time of the children of Is 
rael s being in the wilderness, to give a further revela 
tion of Christ the Redeemer in the predictions of him, 
than had been before. Here are three prophecies given 
at this time that I would take notice of. The first is that 
of Balaam, Numb. xxiv. 17, 18, 19. "I shall see him, but 
not now ; I shall behold him, but not nigh : there shall 
come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of 
Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy 
all the children of Sheth. And Edom shall be a posses 
sion, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies, and 
Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come he 
that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that re- 
maineth of the city." This is a plainer prophecy of 
Christ, especially with regard to his kingly office, than 
any that had been before. But we have another, that 
God gave by Moses, that is plainer still, especially with 



80 



A HISTORY OP THE 



regard to his prophetical office, in Deut. xviii. 18. &c. "I 
will raise up a prophet from among their brethren, like 
unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth, and he 
shall speak unto them all that I command him," &c. 
This is a plainer prophecy of Christ than any that had 
been before, in this respect, that all the prophecies that 
had been before of Christ, were in figurative mystical 
language. The first prophecy was so, That the seed of 
the woman should bruise the serpent s head. The pro 
mises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, " That in 
their seed all the families of the earth should be blessed," 
were also mystical ; which prophecy is not so particular, 
because the expression, thy seed, is general, and not 
plainly limited to any particular person. The prophecy 
of Jacob in blessing Judah, Gen. xlix. 8. is in mystical 
language; and so is that of Balaam, which speaks of 
Christ under the figurative expression of a star. But 
this is a plain prophecy, without being veiled in any 
mystical language at all. 

There are several things contained in this prophecy 
of Christ. Here is his mediatorial office in general, ver. 
16. Here it is revealed how he should be a person to 
stand between them and God, that was so terrible a be 
ing, a being of such awful majesty, holiness, and justice, 
that they could not have come to him, and have inter 
course with him immediately, without a mediator to 
stand between them ; because, if they came to such a 
dreadful sin-revenging God immediately, they should 
die; God would prove a consuming fire to them. And 
then here is a particular revelation of Christ with respect 
to his prophetical office : " I will raise them up a prophet 
from among their brethren, like unto thee," &c. And 
further, it is revealed what kind of a prophet he should 
be, a prophet like Moses, who was the head and leader 
of all the people, and who, under God, had been their re 
deemer, to bring them out of the house of bondage, was, 
as it were, their shepherd by whom God led them through 
the Red Sea and wilderness, and was an intercessor for 
them with God, and was both a prophet and a king in 
the congregation ; for Moses had the power of a king 
among them. It is said of him, Deut. xxxiii. 5. He was 
king in Jeshurun, and he was the prophet by whom God 
as it were built up his church, and delivered his instruc 
tions of worship. Thus Christ was to be a prophet like 
unto Moses ; so that this is both the plainest and fullest 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 81 

prophecy of Christ that ever had been from the begin 
ning of the world to this time. 

The next prophecy that I shall take notice of, respects 
only the calling of the Gentiles, which should be after 
Christ s coming, of which God gave a very plain pro 
phecy by Moses in the wilderness, Deut. xxxii. 21. Here 
is a very plain prophecy of the rejection of the Jews and 
calling the Gentiles. They moved God to jealousy by 
that which was not a god, by casting him off, and taking 
other gods, that were no gods, in his room. So God de 
clares that he will move them to jealousy in the like 
manner, by casting them off, and taking other people, 
that had not been his people, in their room. The Apos 
tle Paul takes notice of this prophecy, as foretelling the 
calling of the Gentiles, in Rom. x. 19, 20. "But I say, 
Did not Israel know 1 First, Moses saith, I will provoke 
you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a 
foolish nation 1 will anger you. But Esaias is very bold, 
and saith, I was found of them that sought me not ; I 
was made manifest to them that asked not after me." 

Thus you see how the light of the gospel, which first 
began to dawn and glimmer immediately after the fall, 
gradually increases the nearer we come to Christ s time. 

X. Another thing by which God carried on this work 
in this time, was a remarkable pouring out of his Spirit 
on the young generation in the wilderness. The gene 
ration that was grown up when they came out of Egypt, 
from twenty years old and upward, was a very froward 
and perverse generation. They were tainted with the 
idolatry and wickedness of Egypt, and were not weaned 
from it, as the prophet Ezekiel takes notice, Ezek. xx. 6, 
7, 8. Hence they made the golden calf in imitation of 
the idolatry of Egypt, that was wont to w r orship a bull 
or an ox ; and therefore cattle are called the abomina 
tion of the Egyptians, i. e. their idol. This generation 
God was exceeding angry with, and swore in his wrath, 
that they should not enter into his rest. But the young 
er generation were not so ; the generation that were un^ 
der twenty years old when they came out of Egypt, and 
those that were born in the wilderness, the generation 
spoken of, Numb. xiv. 31. "But your little ones, who 
ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in ; and they 
shall know the land that ye have despised." This was 
the generation with whom the covenant was renewed, aa 
we have an account in Deuteronomy, and that entered 
into the land of Canaan. This generation God was 



82 A HISTORY OF THE 

pleased to make a generation to his praise, and they 
were eminent for piety ; as appears by many things said 
in scripture about them; as, particularly, Jer. ii. 2, 3. " I 
remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of 
thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wil 
derness, in a land that was not sown. Israel was holi 
ness to the Lord, and the first fruits of his increase." 
Here the generation that went after God in the wilder 
ness, is spoken of with very high commendations, as 
eminent for holiness: "Israel was holiness to the Lord, 
and the first fruits of his increase." And their love to 
God is spoken of as distinguished like the love of a bride 
at her espousals. The going after God in the wilder 
ness that is here spoken of, is not the going of the child 
ren of Israel out of Egypt into the wilderness of Sinai, 
but their following God through that dreadful wilderness, 
that the congregation long wandered in, after they went 
back from Kadesh-barnea, which is spoken of, Deut. viii. 
15. " Who led thee through the great and terrible wil 
derness, wherein were fiery serpents and scorpions, and 
drought, where there was no water." Though this gen 
eration had a much greater trial, than the generation of 
their fathers had before they came to Kadesh-barnea, yet 
they never murmured against God in any wise, as their 
fathers had done : but their trials had a contrary effect 
upon them, to awaken them, convince, and humble them, 
and fit them for great mercy. They were awakened by 
those awful judgments of God that he inflicted on their 
fathers, whereby their carcasses fell in the wilderness. 
And God poured out his Spirit with those awakening 
providences toward their fathers, and their own travel 
in the wilderness, and the word preached to them by 
Moses; whereby they were greatly awakened, and 
made to see the badness of their own hearts, and were 
humbled, and at length multitudes of them savingly con 
verted ; as Deut. viii. 2, 3. " And thou shalt remember 
the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty 
years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove 
thee, to know what was in thine heart whether thou 
wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he hum 
bled thee," Scc. And, ver. 15. "Who led thee through 
that great and terrible wilderness, that he might hum 
ble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good 
at thy latter end." And therefore it is said, Hos. xiii. 5. 
4 1 did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great 
drought." God allured them, and brought them into 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 83 

that wilderness, and spake comfortably to them, as it 
was foretold that he would do afterwards, Hos. ii. 14. 

Those terrible judgments that were executed in the 
congregation after their turning back from Kadesh-bar- 
nea, in the matter of Korah, and the matter of Peor, were 
chiefly on the old generation, whom God consumed in 
the wilderness. Those rebellions were chiefly among 
the elders of the congregation, who were of the older 
generation that God had given up to their hearts lust ; 
and they walked in their own counsels, and God was 
grieved with their manners forty years in the wilder 
ness. 

But that this younger congregation were eminent for 
piety, appears by all their history. The former genera 
tion were wicked, and were followed with curses ; but 
this was holy, and wonderful blessings followed them. 
God did great things for them; he fought for them, and 
gave them the possession of Canaan. And it is God s 
manner, when he hath very great mercies to bestow on 
a visible people, first, to fit them for them, and then to be 
stow them on them. So it was here : they believed in God, 
and by faith overcame Sihon and Og, and the giants of 
Canaan ; and are commended for cleaving to the Lord: 
Josh, xxiii. 8. " Joshua says unto them, Cleave unto the 
Lord, as ye have done unto this day." And so Israel 
did all the while that generation lived. But when Joshua 
and all that generation were dead, there arose another 
generation that knew not the Lord. This pious genera 
tion showed a laudable and fervent zeal for God on sev 
eral occasions ; on occasion of Achan s sin ; but especi 
ally when they suspected the two tribes and a half had 
set up an altar in opposition to the altar of burnt offering. 
There never was any generation of Israel that so much 
good and so little evil is mentioned of, as this genera 
tion. It is further observable, that in the time of this 
generation was the second general circumcision, where 
by the reproach of Israel was fully rolled away, and they 
became pure ; and when afterwards they were polluted 
by Achan, they purged themselves again. 

The men of the former generation being dead, and 
God having sanctified this younger generation to himself, 
he solemnly renewed his covenant with them, as we 
have a particular account in the xxixth chapter of Deut 
eronomy. We find that such solemn renovations of the 
covenant commonly accompanied any remarkable pour 
ing out of the Spirit, causing a general reformation : so 



84 



A HISTORY OF THE 



we find it was in Hezekiah s and Josiah s times. It is 
questionable whether there ever was a time of so great 
a flourishing of religion in the Israelitish church, as in 
that generation ; and as, in the Christian church, religion 
was in its most flourishing circumstances in the day of 
its espousals, or first setting up of that church, in the 
days of the apostles, so it seems to have been with the 
Jewish church in the days of its first establishment in 
Moses s and Joshua s times. 

Thus God at this time did gloriously advance the work 
of redemption, both by his word and Spirit. By this 
pouring out of the Spirit of God, the work of redemption 
was promoted, not only as it was in itself a glorious in 
stance of the carrying on of that redemption in the ap 
plication of it, but as this was what God made use of as 
a means of the good and orderly establishment of the 
church of Israel at its first beginning, when it was first 
settled in the regular observance of God s ordinances in 
Canaan: even as the pouring out of the Spirit, in the be 
ginning of the Christian church, was a great means God 
made use of for the well establishing the Christian church 
in the world in all succeeding ages. 

XL The next thing I would observe, was God s bring 
ing the people of Israel under the hand of Joshua, and 
settling them in that land where Christ was to be born, 
and which was the great type of the heavenly Canaan, 
which Christ has purchased. This was done by Joshua, 
who was of Joseph s posterity, and was an eminent type 
of Christ, and is therefore called the shepherd, the stone 
of Israel, in Jacob s blessing of Joseph, Gen. xlix. 24. 
Being such a type of Christ, he bore the name of Christ. 
Joshua and Jesus are the same name, only the one is 
Hebrew, the other is Greek : and therefore, in the New 
Testament, which was originally written in Greek, 
Joshua is called Jesus, Acts vii. 45. " Which also our 
fathers brought in with Jesus, i. e. Joshua; Heb. iv. 8. 
" If Jesus had given them rest, he would not have spoken 
of another day;" i. e. if Joshua had given them rest. 

God wonderfully possessed his people of this land, con 
quering the former inhabitants of it, and the mighty 
giants, as Christ conquered the devil ; first conquering 
the great kings of that part of the land that was on the 
eastern side of Jordan, Sihon king of the Amorites, and 
Og king of Bashan; and then dividing the river Jordan, 
as before he had done the Red Sea; causing the walls 
of Jericho to fall down at the sound of the trumpets of 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 85 

the priests ; that sound typifying the sound of the gospel 
by the preaching of the gospel ministers, the wails of the 
accursed city Jericho signifying the walls of Satan s king 
dom ; and after this wonderfully destroying the mighty 
host of the Amorites under the five kings, causing the sun 
and moon to stand still, to help the people against their 
enemies, at the prayer of the typical Jesus ; plainly holding 
this forth, that God would make the whole course of na 
ture to be subservient to the affair of redemption ; so that 
every thing should yield to the purposes of that work, and 
give place to the welfare of God s redeemed people. 

Thus did Christ show his great love to his elect, that 
he would make the course of nature, in the frame of the 
world that he had made, and that he governed, to give 
place to their happiness and prosperity; and showed 
that the sun and moon, and all things, visible and invisi 
ble, were theirs by his purchase. At the same time, 
Christ fought as the captain of their host, and cast down 
great hailstones upon their enemies, by which more were 
slain than by the sword of the children of Israel. And 
after this Christ gave the people a mighty victory over a 
yet greater army in the northern part of the land, that 
were gathered together at the waters of Merom, as the 
sand of the sea shore, as it is said, Josh. xi. 4. 

Thus God gave the people whence Christ was to pro 
ceed, the land where he was to be born, and live, and 
preach, and work miracles, and die, and rise again, and 
whence he was to ascend into heaven, as the land which 
was a great type of heaven; which is another thing 
whereby a great advance was made in the affair of re 
demption. 

XII. Another thing that God did towards carrying on 
this affair, was his actually setting up his stated worship 
among the people, as it had been before instituted in the 
wilderness. This worship was appointed at Mount Si 
nai, wholly in subserviency to this great affair of re 
demption. It was to make way for the coming of Christ; 
and the innumerable ceremonial observances of it were 
typical of him and his redemption. This worship was 
chiefly instituted at Mount Sinai ; but it was gradually 
set up in practice. It was partly set up in the wilder 
ness, where the tabernacle and its vessels were made ; 
but there were many parts of their instituted worship 
that could not be observed in the wilderness, by reason 
of their unsettled, itinerant state there: and then there 
were many precepts that respect the land of Canaan, 



CO A HISTORY OF THE 

and their cities and places of habitation there; which 
there-lore could not he put in practice, until they came 
into that land. But now, when this was brought to pass, 
God set up his tabernacle in the midst of his people, as 
he had before promised them, Lev. xxvi. 11. "1 will set 
up my tabernacle amongst you." The tabernacle was 
set at Shiloh, Josh, xviii. 1. and the priests and Levites 
had their offices appointed them, and the cities of refuge 
were appointed ; and now the people were in a condi 
tion to observe their feasts of the first fruits, and their 
feasts of ingathering, and to bring all their tithes and ap 
pointed offerings to the Lord ; and most parts of God s 
worship were set up, though there were some things 
that were not observed until afterwards. 

XIII. The next tiling I would take notice of, was God s 
wonderfully preserving that people, from this time for 
ward, when all the males went up, three times in the 
year, to the place where God s ark was. The people of 
Israel were generally surrounded with enemies, that 
sought all opportunities to destroy them, and dispossess 
them of their land ; and until David s time there were 
great numbers in the land of the remains of the Canaan- 
ites, and the other former inhabitants of the land, that 
were bitter enemies to the people of Israel : and these 
had from year to year, three times in the year, a fair op 
portunity of overrunning their country, and getting pos 
session of their cities, when all the males were gone, and 
only the women, and those who were not able to go up, 
were left behind. And yet they were remarkably pre 
served throughout all generations at such seasons, agree 
able to the promise that God had made, Exod. xxxiv. 24. 
" Neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt 
go up to appear before the Lord thy God thrice in the 
year." So wonderfully did God order affairs, and influ 
ence the hearts of their enemies, that though they were 
so full of enmity against Israel, and desired to dispossess 
them of their land, and had so fair an opportunity so 
often in their hands, that the whole country was left 
naked and empty of all that could resist them, and it 
would have been only for them to have gone and taken 
possession, and they could have had it without opposi 
tion, and they were so eager to take other opportunities 
against them; yet we never read, in all their history, of 
any of their enemies taking these opportunities against 
them; which could be no less than a continual miracle, 
.that God, for the preservation of his church, kept up for 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 87 

so many generations, even throughout the ages of the 
Old Testament. It was surely a wonderful dispensa 
tion of divine providence to maintain and promote God s 
great design of redemption. 

XI V. God s preserving his church and the true religion 
from being wholly extinct in the frequent apostasies of 
the Israelites in the time of the judges. How prone was 
that people to forsake the true God, that had done such 
wonderful things for them, and to fall into idolatry! and how 
did the land, from time to time, seem to be almost over 
run with idolatry! But yet God never suffered his true 
worship to be totally rooted out : his tabernacle stood, 
the ark was preserved, the book of the law was kept 
from being destroyed, God s priesthood was upheld, and 
God still had a church among the people; and time after 
time, when religion seemed to be almost gone, and it 
was come to the last extremity, then God granted a re 
vival, and sent some angel or prophet, or raised up some 
eminent person, to be an instrument of their reforma 
tion. 

XV. God s preserving that nation from being destroy 
ed, and delivering them from time to time, although they 
were so often subdued and brought under the dominion 
of their enemies. It is a wonder, not only that the true 
religion was not wholly rooted out, and so the church 
destroyed that way; but also that the very nation in 
which that church was, was not utterly destroyed ; they 
were so often brought under the power of their enemies. 
One while they were subdued by Chushanrishathaini 
king of Mesopotamia, another while they were brought 
under the Moabites ; and then they were sold into the 
hand of Jabin king of Canaan: and then they were un 
der the dominion of the Midianites; and then were sore 
ly distressed by the children of Ammon ; anc 1 then by 
the Philistines. But yet God, in all these dancers, pre 
served them, and kept them from being wholly over 
thrown: and from time to time, when it was come to 
extremity, and God saw that they were upon the very 
brink of ruin, then God raised up a deliverer, agreeable 
to Deut. xxxii. 36. "For the Lord shall judge his people, 
and repent himself for his servants ; when he seeth their 
power is gone, and there is none shut up or left." 

Those remarkable dispensations of Providence are 
very lively and elegantly set forth by the Psalmist, Psa. 
cvi. 34. &c. 

These deliverers that God raised up from time to time 



OO A HISTORY OP THE 

were all types of Christ, the great redeemer and deliver 
er of his church ; and some of them very remarkably so; 
as, particularly, Barak, Jephtha, Gideon, and Samson, 
in very many particulars ; and above all in the acts of 
Samson, as might be shown, were it not that this would 
take up too much time. 

XVI. It is observable, that when Christ appeared to 
manage the affairs of his church in this period, he often 
appeared in the form of that nature that he took upon 
him in his incarnation. So he seems to have appeared 
to Moses from time to time, and particularly at that time 
when God spake to him face to face, as a man speaketh 
to his friend, and he beheld the similitude of the Lord 
(Numb. xii. 8.) after he had besought him to show him 
his glory ; which was the most remarkable vision that 
ever he had of Christ. There was a twofold discovery 
that Moses had of Christ: one was spiritual, made to his 
mind, by the word that was proclaimed, when he pro 
claimed his name, saying, " The Lord, the Lord God, 
merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in 
goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, for 
giving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will 
by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the 
fathers upon the children, and upon the children s child 
ren, unto the third and to the fourth generation," Exod. 
xxxiv. 6. &c. Another was external ; which was that 
which Moses saw, when Christ passed by, and put him 
in a cleft of the rock, and covered him with his hand, so 
that Moses saw his back parts. What he saw was 
doubtless the back parts of a glorious human form, in 
which Christ appeared to him, and in all likelihood the 
form of his glorified human nature, in which he should 
afterwards appear. He saw not his face ; for it is not to 
be supposed that any man could subsist under a sight 
of the glory of Christ s human nature as it now appears. 

So it was an human form in which Christ appeared to 
the seventy elders, of which we have an account, Exod. 
xxiv. 9, 10, 11. " Then went up Moses and Aaron, Nadab 
and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: and they 
saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet, as 
it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were 
the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the 
nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also 
they saw God, and did eat and drink." So Christ ap 
peared afterwards to Joshua in the form of the human 
nature, Josh. v. 13, 14. "And it came to pass when 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 89 

Joshua was by Jericho, he lift up his eyes, and looked, 
and behold, there stood a man over against him, with 
his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto 
him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our ad 
versaries ] And he said, Nay, but as captain of the host 
of the Lord am I now come." And so he appeared to 
Gideon, Judg. vi. 11. &c. and so also to Manoah, Judg. 
xiii. 17 21. Here Christ appeared to Manoah in a 
representation both of his incarnation and death ; of 
his incarnation, in that he appeared in a human form; 
and of his death and sufferings, represented by the 
sacrifice of a kid, and by his ascending up in the 
flame of the sacrifice ; intimating, that it was he that 
was the great sacrifice, that must be offered up to God 
for a sweet savour, in the fire of his wrath, as that kid 
was burned and ascended up in the flame. Christ thus 
appeared, time after time, in the form of that nature he 
was afterwards to take upon him ; because he now ap 
peared on the same design, and to carry on the same 
work, that he was to appear in that nature to work out 
and carry on. 

XVII. Another thing I would mention, done in this 
period towards the work of redemption, is the beginning 
of a succession of prophets, and erecting a school of the 
prophets, in Samuel s time. There was something of 
this spirit of prophecy in Israel after Moses, before Sam 
uel. Joshua and many of the judges had a degree of it. 
Deborah was a prophetess; and some of the high priests 
were inspired with this spirit ; particularly Eli : and that 
space of time was not wholly without instances of those 
that were set apart of God especially to this office, and 
so were called prophets. Such an one we read of, Judg. 
vi. 8. " The Lord sent a prophet unto the children of Is 
rael, which said unto them," &c. Such an one he seems 
to have been that we read of, 1 Sam. ii. 27. " And there 
came a man of God to Eli," &c. 

But there was no such order of men upheld in Israel 
for any constancy, before Samuel ; the want of it is taken 
notice of in 1 Sam. iii. 1. "And the word of the Lord was 
precious in those days ; there was no open vision." But 
in Samuel there was begun a succession of prophets, 
that was maintained continually from that time, at least 
with very little interruption, until the spirit of prophecy 
ceased, about Malachi s time: and therefore Samuel is 
spoken of in the New Testament as the beginning of this 
succession of prophets, Acts iii. 24. " And all the pro- 
8* 



90 A HISTORY OF THE 

phets from Samuel, and those that follow after, as many 
as have spoken, have foretold of these days." After 
{Samuel was Nathan, and Gad, and Iddo, and Heinan, 
and Asaph, and others. And afterwards, in the latter 
end of Solomon s reign, we read of Ahijah; and in Jero 
boam and Rehoboam s time we read of prophets ; and 
so continually one prophet succeeded another, until the 
captivity. We read in the writings of those prophets 
that are inserted into the canon of the scriptures, of pro 
phets as being a constant order of men upheld in the 
land in those days : and in the time of the captivity there 
were prophets still, as Ezekiel and Daniel ; and after the 
captivity there were prophets, as Zechariah, Haggai, and 
Malachi. 

And because God intended a constant succession of 
prophets from Samuel s time, therefore in his time was 
begun a school of the prophets ; that is, a school of young 
men, that were trained up under some great prophet, 
who was their master and teacher in the study of divine 
things, and the practice of holiness, to fit them for this 
office as God should call them to it. Those young men 
that belonged to these schools, were called the sons of 
the prophets; and oftentimes they are called prophets. 
These at first were under the tuition of Samuel. Thus 
we read of Samuel s being appointed over them, 1 Sam. 
xix. 20. " And when they saw the company of prophets 
prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over 
them." The company of prophets that we read of, 1 
Sam. x. 5. were the same. Afterwards we read of their 
being under Elijah. Elisha was one of his sons ; but he 
desired to have a double portion of his spirit, as his suc 
cessor, as his first born, as the eldest son was wont to 
have a double portion of the estate of his father; and 
therefore the sons of the prophets, when they perceived 
that the spirit of Elijah rested on Elisha, submitted them 
selves to him, and owned him for their master, as they 
had done Elijah before him ; as you may see, 2 Kings ii. 
15. "And when the sons of the prophets which were to 
view at. Jericho, saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah 
doth rest on Elisha. And they bowed themselves to the 
ground before him." 

And so after this Elisha was their master or teacher; 
he had the care and instruction of them ; as you may 
see, 2 Kings iv. 38. "And Elisha came again to Gilgal, 
and there was a dearth in the land, and the sons of the 
prophets were sitting before him : and he said unto his 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 91 

servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the 
sons of the prophets." In Elijah s and EJisha s time, 
there were several places where there resided companies 
of these sons of the prophets; as there was one at Bethel, 
and another at Jericho, and another at Gilgal, unless that 
at Gilgal arid Jericho were the same: and possibly that 
which is called the college, where the prophetess Huldah 
resided, was another at^Jerusalem ; see 2 Kings xxii. 14. 
It is there said of Huldah the prophetess, that " she dwelt 
in Jerusalem, in the college." They had houses built, 
where they used to dwell together; and therefore those 
at Jericho being multiplied, and finding their house too 
little for them, desired leave of their master and teacher 
Elisha, that they might go and hew timber to build a 
bigger; as you may see, 2 Kings vi. 1, 2. 

At some times there were numbers of these sons of 
the prophets in Israel ; for when Jezebel cut off the pro 
phets of the Lord, it is said, that Obadiah took an hun 
dred of them, and hid them by fifty in a cave, 1 Kings 
xviii. 4. 

These schools of the prophets being set up by Samuel, 
and afterwards kept up by such great prophets as Elijah 
and Elisha, must be of divine appointment ; and accord 
ingly we find, that those sons of the prophets were often 
favoured with a degree of inspiration, while they con 
tinued under tuition in the schools of the prophets; and 
God commonly, when he called any prophet to the con 
stant exercise of the prophetical office, and to some ex 
traordinary service, took them out of these schools; 
though not universally. Hence the prophet Amos, speak 
ing of his being called to the prophetical office, says, that 
he was one that had not been educated in the schools of 
the prophets, and was not one of the sons of the pro 
phets, Amos vii. 14, 15. But Amos s taking notice of it 
as remarkable, that he should be called to be a prophet 
that had not been educated at the schools of the pro 
phets, shows that it was God s ordinary manner to take 
his prophets out of these schools ; for therein he did but 
bless his own institution. 

Now this remarkable dispensation of Providence that 
we are upon, viz. God s beginning a constant succession 
of prophets in Samuel s time, that was to last for many 
ages ; and to that end, establishing a school of the pro 
phets under Samuel, thenceforward to be continued in 
Israel, was a step that God took in that great affair of 
redemption that we are upon. For the main business 



92 



A HISTORY OF THE 



of this succession of prophets was, to foreshow Christ 
and the glorious redemption that he was to accomplish, 
and so to prepare the way for his coming; as appears 
by that forementioned place, Acts iii. 24. and by Acts x. 
43. " To him give all the prophets witness ;" and by Acts 
iii. 18. "But those things which God before had shewed 
by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suf 
fer, he hath so fulfilled." 

As I observed before, the Old Testament time was like 
a time of night, wherein the church was not wholly with 
out light, but had not the light of the sun directly, but as 
reflected from the stars. Now these prophets were the 
stars that reflected the light of the sun ; and accordingly 
they spoke abundantly of Jesus Christ, as appears by 
what we have of their prophecies in writing. And they 
made it very much their business, when they studied in 
their schools or colleges, and elsewhere, to search out 
the work of redemption ; agreeable to what the apostle 
Peter says of them, 1 Pet. i. 10, 11. "Of which salvation 
the prophets have inquired, and searched diligently, who 
prophesied of the grace that should come unto you ; 
searching what, or what manner of time the spirit of 
Christ that was in them did signify, when it testified be 
forehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that 
should follow." We are told, that the church of the Re 
deemer is built on the foundation of the prophets and 
apostles, the Redeemer himself being the chief corner 
stone, Eph. ii. 20. 

This was the first thing of the nature that ever was 
done in the world ; and it was a great thing that God did 
towards further advancing this great building of redemp 
tion. There had been before occasional prophecies of 
Christ, as was shown ; but now the time drawing nearer 
when the Redeemer should come, it pleased God to ap 
point a certain order of men, in constant succession, 
whose main business it should be, to foreshow Christ 
and his redemption, and as his forerunners to prepare 
the way for his coming ; and God established schools, 
wherein multitudes were instructed and trained up to 
that end, Rev. xix. 10. "I am thy fellow servant, and of 
thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus; for the 
testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 03 



PART Y. 

FROM DAVID TO THE BABYLONISH CAPTIVITY. 

I COME now to the fifth period of the times of the Old Tes 
tament, beginning with David, and extending to the 
Babylonish captivity ; and would now proceed to show 
how the work of redemption was carried on through this 
period also. And here, 

I. The first thing to be taken notice of, is God s an 
ointing that person that was to be the ancestor of Christ, 
to be king over his people. The dispensations of Provi 
dence that have been taken notice of through the last 
period, from Moses to this time, respect the people 
whence Christ was to proceed. But now the scripture 
history leads us to consider God s providence towards 
that particular person whence Christ was to proceed, 
viz. David. It pleased God at this time remarkably to 
select out that person of whom Christ was to come, from 
all the thousands of Israel, and to put a most honourable 
mark of distinction upon him, by anointing him to be 
king over his people. It was only God that could find 
him out. His father s house is spoken of as being little 
in Israel, and he was the youngest of all the sons of his 
father, and was least expected "to be the man that God 
had chosen, by Samuel. God had before, in the former 
ages of the world, remarkably distinguished the persons 
from whom Christ was to come; as he did Seth, and 
Noah, and Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob. But the last 
that we have any account of God s marking out in any 
notable manner, the very person of whom Christ was to 
come, was in Jacob s blessing his son Judah ; unless we 
reckon Nahshon s advancement in the wilderness to be 
the head of the tribe of Judah. But this distinction of 
the person of whom Christ was to come, in David, was 
very honourable; for it was God s anointing him to be 
king over his people. And there was something further 
denoted by David s anointing, than was in the anointing 
of Saul. God anointed Saul to be king personally; but 
God intended something further by sending Samuel to 



IM A HISTORY OF THE 

anoint David, viz. to establish the crown of Israel in him 
and in his family, as long as Israel continued to be a 
kingdom ; and not only so, but what was infinitely more 
still, establishing the crown of his universal church, his 
spiritual Israel, in his seed, to the end of the world, and 
throughout all eternity. 

This was a great dispensation of God, and a great 
step taken towards a further advancing of the work of 
redemption, according as the time drew near wherein 
Christ was to come. David, as he was the ancestor of 
Christ, so he was the greatest personal type of Christ of 
all under the Old Testament. The types of Christ were 
of three sorts; types of institution, or instituted types, 
and providential, and personal types. The ordinance 
of sacrificing was the greatest of the instituted types ; 
and the redemption out of Egypt was the greatest of the 
providential types ; and David the greatest of the per 
sonal types. Hence Christ is often called David in the 
prophecies of scripture; as Ezek. xxxiv. 23, 24. "And I 
will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed 
them, even my servant David: my servant David a 
prince among them ;" and so in many other places : and 
he is very often spoken of as the seed of David, and the 
son of David. 

David being the ancestor and great type of Christ, his 
being solemnly anointed by God to be king over his peo 
ple that the kingdom of his church might be continued 
in his family for ever, may in some respects be looked 
on as an anointing of Christ himself. Christ was as it 
were anointed in him ; and therefore Christ s anointing 
and David s anointing are spoken of under one in scrip 
ture, as Psa. Ixxxix. 20. "I have found David my ser 
vant ; with my holy oil have I anointed him." And Da 
vid s throne and Christ s are spoken of as one: Luke i. 
32. " And the Lord shall give him the throne of his father 
David." Acts ii. 30. " David knowing that God had 
sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, 
according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit 
on his throne." 

Thus God s beginning of the kingdom of his church in 
the house of David, was, as it were, a new establishing 
of the kingdom of Christ; the beginning of it in a state 
of such visibility as it thenceforward continued in. It 
was as it were God s planting the root, whence that 
branch of righteousness was afterwards to spring up, 
that was to be the everlasting king of his church ; and 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 95 

therefore this everlasting king is called the branch from 
the stem of Jesse. Isa. xi. 1. "And there shall come forth 
a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow 
out of his roots." Jer. xxiii. 5. "Behold, the days come, 
saith the Lord, that I will raise up unto David a right 
eous branch, and a king shall reign and prosper." So, 
chap, xxxiii. 15. "In those days, and at that time, I will 
cause the branch of righteousness to grow up unto Da 
vid, and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in 
the land." So Christ, in the New Testament, is called 
the root and offspring of David, Rev. xxii. 16. 

It is observable, that God anointed David after Saul to 
reign in his room. He took away the crown from him 
and his family, who was higher in stature than any of 
his people, and was in their eyes fittest to bear rule, to 
give it to David, who was low of stature, and in compa 
rison, of despicable appearance: so God was pleased to 
show how Christ, who appeared despicable, without form 
or comeliness, and was despised and rejected of men, 
should take the kingdom from the great ones of the earth. 
And also it is observable, that David was the youngest 
of Jesse s sons, as Jacob the younger brother supplanted 
Esau, and got the birthright and blessing from him : and 
as Pharez, another of Christ s ancestors, supplanted Za- 
rah in the birth ; and as Isaac, another of the ancestors 
of Christ, cast out his elder brother Ishmael ; thus was 
that frequent saying of Christ fulfilled, " The last shall 
be first, and the first last." 

II. The next thing I would observe, is God s so preserv 
ing David s life, by a series of wonderful providences, un 
til Saul s death. I before took notice of the wonderful 
preservation of other particular persons that were the 
ancestors of Christ ; as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; 
and have observed how, in that Christ the great Redeem 
er was to proceed, from them, that in their preservation, 
the work of redemption itself may be looked upon as pre 
served from being defeated, and the whole church, which 
is redeemed through him, from being overthrown. But 
the preservation of David was no less remarkable than 
that of any others that have been already taken notice 
of. How often was it so, that there was but a step be 
tween him and death. The first instance of it we have 
in his encountering a lion and a bear, when they had 
caught a lamb out of his flock, which, without miracu 
lous assistance, could at once have rent this young strip 
ling in pieces, as they could the lamb that he delivered 



96 A HISTORY OF THE 

from them : so afterwards the root and offspring of Da 
vid was preserved from the roaring lion that goes about 
seeking whom he may devour, and conquered him and 
rescued the poor souls of men, that were as lambs in the 
mouth of this lion. Another remarkable instance was, 
in preserving him from that mighty giant Goliath, who 
was strong enough to have taken him, and picked him to 
pieces with his fingers, and given his flesh to the beasts 
of the field, and to the fowls of the air, as he threatened 
him : but God preserved him from him, and gave him the 
victory over him, so that he cut off his head with his own 
sword, and made him therein the deliverer of his people; 
as Christ slew the spiritual Goliath with his own weapon, 
the cross, and so delivered his people. And how re 
markably did God preserve him from being slain by Saul, 
when he first sought his life, by giving him his daughter 
to be a snare to him, that the hand of the Philistines might 
be upon him, requiring him to pay for her by an hundred 
foreskins of the Philistines, that so his life might be ex 
posed to them ; and in preserving him afterwards, when 
Saul spake to Jonathan, and to all his servants, to kill Da 
vid ; and in inclining Jonathan, instead of killing him, as 
his father bade him, to love him as his own soul, and to 
be a great instrument of his preservation, even so as to 
expose his own life to preserve David ; though one would 
have thought that none would have been more willing to 
have David killed than Jonathan, seeing that he was com 
petitor with him for his father s crown ; and again saving 
him, when Saul threw a javelin at him to smite him even 
to the wall ; and again preserving him, when he sent mes 
sengers to his house, to watch him, and to kill him, when 
Michal, Saul s daughter, let him down through a window ; 
and when he afterwards sent messengers, once and 
again, to Naioth in Ramah, to take himT and they were 
remarkably prevented time after time, by being seized 
with miraculous impressions of the Spirit of God ; and 
afterwards, when Saul, being resolute in the affair, went 
himself, he also was among the prophets: and after this, 
how wonderfully was David s life preserved at Gath, 
among the Philistines, when he went to Achish the king 
of Gaih, and was there in the hands of the Philistines, 
who, one would have thought, would have dispatched 
him at once, he having so much provoked them by his 
exploits against them : and he was again wonderfully 
preserved at Keilah, when he had entered into a fenced 
town, where Saul thought he was sure of him. And how 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 97 

wonderfully was he preserved from Saul, when he pur 
sued arid hunted him in the mountains ! How remarka 
bly did God deliver him in the wilderness of Maon, when 
Saul and his army were compassing David about ! How 
was he delivered in the cave of Engedi, when, instead of 
Saul s killing David, God delivered Saul into his hands in 
the cave, and he cut off his skirt, and might as easily 
have cut off his head ; and afterwards delivering him in 
like manner in the wilderness of Ziph ; and afterwards 
again preserving him in the land of the Philistines, though 
David had fought against the Philistines, and conquered 
them at Keilah, since he was last among them ; which 
one would think, would have been sufficient warning to 
them not to trust him, or let him escape a second time, if 
ever they had him in their hands again ; but yet now, 
when they had a second opportunity, God wonderfully 
turned their hearts to him to befriend and protect him, in 
stead of destroying him ! 

Thus was the precious seed that virtually contained 
the Redeemer, and all the blessings of his redemption, 
wonderfully preserved, when hell and earth were con 
spired against it to destroy it. How often does David 
himself take notice of this, with praise and admiration, 
in the book of Psalms ! 

III. About this time, the written word of God, or the 
canon of Scripture, was added to by Samuel. I have 
before observed, how that the canon of scripture was be 
gun, and the first written word of God, the first written 
rule of faith and manners that ever was, was given to 
the church about Moses time : and many, and I know 
not but most divines, think it was added to by Joshua, 
and that he wrote the last chapter of Deuteronomy, and 
most of the book of Joshua. Others think that Joshua, 
Judges, Ruth, and part of the first book of Samuel, were 
written by Samuel. However that was, this we have 
good evidence of, that Samuel made an addition to the 
canon of scripture; for Samuel is manifestly mentioned 
in the New Testament, as one of the prophets whose 
writings we have in the scriptures, in that forementioned, 
Acts iii. 24. " Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel, and 
those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have 
likewise foretold of these days." By that expression, 
"as many as have spoken," cannot be meant, as many 
as have spoken by word of mouth ; for never was any 
prophet but what did that: but the meaning must be, as 
many as have spoken by writing, so that what they 
9 



A HISTORV OF THE 

have spoken has come down to us, that we may see 
what it is. 

And the way that Samuel spoke of these times of 
Christ and the gospel, was by giving the history of those 
things that typified them, and pointed to them, particu 
larly the things concerning David that he wrote. The 
Spirit of God moved him to commit those things to wri 
ting, chiefly for that reason, because they pointed to 
Christ, and the times of the gospel ; and, as was said be 
fore, this was the main business of all that succession of 
prophets, that began in Samuel, to foreshow these times. 

That Samuel added to the canon of the scriptures, 
seems further to appear from 1 Chron. xxix. 29. " Now 
the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are 
written in the book of Samuel the seer." 

Whether the book of Joshua was written by Samuel 
or not, yet it is the general opinion of divines, that the 
books of Judges, and Ruth, and part of the first book of 
Samuel, were penned by him. The book of Ruth was 
penned for that reason, because, though it seemed to 
treat of private affairs, yet the persons chiefly spoken of 
in that book were of the family whence David and Christ 
proceeded, and so pointed to what the apostle Peter -ob 
served of Samuel and the other prophets, in the third chap 
ter of Acts. The thus adding to the canon of the scrip 
tures, the great and main instrument of the application 
of redemption, is to be looked upon as a further carrying 
on of that work, and an addition made to that great 
building. 

IV. Another thing God did towards this work, at that 
time, was his inspiring David to show forth Christ and 
his redemption, in divine songs, which should be for the 
use of the church, in public worship, throughout all ages. 
David was himself endued with the spirit of prophecy. 
He is called a prophet, Acts ii. 29, 30. " Let me freely 
speak to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead 
and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day: 
therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had 
sworn with an oath," &c. So that herein he was a type 
of Christ, that he was both a prophet and a king. We 
have no certain account of the time when David was 
first endued with the spirit of prophecy ; but it is mani 
fest, that it either was at the time that Samuel anointed 
him, or very soon after ; for he appears soon after actuated 
by this spirit, in the affair of Goliath : and then great part 
of the psalms were penned in the time of his troubles, 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 99 

before he came to the crown ; as might be made mani 
fest by an induction of particulars. 

The oil that was used in anointing David was a type 
of the Spirit of God; and the type and the antitype were 
given both together; as we are told, 1 Sam. xvi. 13. 
" Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in 
the midst of his brethren ; and the Spirit of the Lord 
came upon David from that day forward:" and it is 
probable, that it now came upon him in its prophetical 
influences. 

The way that this Spirit influenced him was, to inspire 
him to show forth Christ, and the glorious things of his 
redemption, in divine songs, sweetly expressing the 
breathings of a pious soul, full of admiration of the glori 
ous things of the Redeemer, inflamed with divine love, 
and lifted up with praise; and therefore he is called the 
sweet psaimist of Israel. 2 Sam. xxiii. 1. "Now these be 
the last words of David : David the son of Jesse said, 
and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed 
of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel." 
The main subjects of these sweet songs were the glori 
ous things of the gospel; as is evident by the interpreta 
tion that is often put upon them, and the use that is made 
of them in the New Testament; for there is no one book 
of the Old Testament that is so often quoted in the New, 
as the book of Psalms. Joyfully did this holy man sing 
of those great things of Christ s redemption, that had 
been the hope and expectation of God s church and peo 
ple from the beginning of the church of God on earth ; 
and joyfully did others follow him in it, as Asaph, Heman, 
Ethan, and others ; for the book of Psalms was not all 
penned by David, though the greater part of it was. 
Hereby the canon of scripture was further added to ; 
and an excellent portion of divine writ was it that was 
added. 

This was a great advancement that God made in this 
building; and the light of the gospel, which had been 
gradually growing from the fall, was exceedingly in 
creased by it : for whereas before there was but here 
and there a prophecy given of Christ in a great many 
ages, now here Christ is spoken of by his ancestor Da 
vid abundantly, in multitudes of songs, speaking of his 
incarnation, life, death, resurrection, ascension into hea 
ven, his satisfaction, intercession ; his prophetical, kingly, 
and priestly office; his glorious benefits in this life and 
that which is to come ; his union with the church, and 



100 A HISTORY OF THE 

the blessedness of the church in him ; the calling of the 
Gentiles, the future glory of the church near the end of 
the world, and Christ s coming to the final judgment. 
All these things, and many more, concerning Christ and 
his redemption, are abundantly spoken of in the book of 
Psalms. 

This was also a glorious advancement of the affair of 
redemption, as God hereby gave his church a book of 
divine songs for their use in that part of their public 
worship, viz. singing his praises, throughout all ages to 
the end of the world. It is manifest the book of Psalms 
was given of God for this end. It was used in the church 
of Israel by God s appointment : this is manifest by the 
title of many of the psalms, in which they are inscribed 
to the chief musician, i. e. to the man that was appointed 
to be the leader of divine songs in the temple, in the 
public worship of Israel. So David is called the sweet 
psalmist of Israel, because he penned psalms for the use 
of the church of Israel; and accordingly we have an ac 
count that they were actually made use of in the church 
of Israel for that end, even ages alter David was dead; 
as 2 Chron. xxix. 30. " Moreover, Hezekiah the king, 
and the princes, commanded the Levites to sing praises 
unto the Lord, with the words of David, and of Asaph 
the seer." And we find that the same are appointed in 
the New Testament to be made use of in the Christian 
church, in their worship : Eph. v. 19. " Speaking to your 
selves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs." Col. iii. 
16. "Admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and 
spiritual songs." And so they have been, and will to the 
end of the world be made use of in the church to cele 
brate the praises of God. The people of God were wont 
sometimes to worship God by singing songs to his praise 
before; as they did at the Red Sea; and they had 
Moses s prophetical song, in the xxxiid chapter of Deut 
eronomy, committed to them for that end ; and Deborah 
and Barak, and Hannah, sung praises to God ; but now 
first did God commit to his church a book of divine 
songs for their constant use. 

V. The next thing I would take notice of, is God s ac 
tually exalting David to the throne of Israel, notwith 
standing all the opposition made to it. God was deter 
mined to do it, and he made every thing give place that 
stood in the way of it. He removed Saul and his sons 
out of the way; and first set David over the tribe of Ju- 
dah ; and then, having removed Ishbosheth, set him over 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 101 

all Israel. Thus did God fulfil his word to David. He 
took him from the sheepcote, and made him king over his 
people Israel, Psa. Ixxviii. 70, 71. And now the throne 
of Israel was established in that family in which it was 
to continue for ever, even for ever and ever. 

VI. Now first it was that God proceeded to choose a 
particular city out of all the tribes of Israel to place his 
name there. There is several times mention made in 
the law of Moses, of the children of Israel s bringing 
their oblations to the place which God should choose ; 
as Deut. xii. 5, 6, 7. and so in many other places ; but 
God had never proceeded to do it until now. The tab 
ernacle and ark were never fixed, but sometimes in one 
place, and sometimes in another ; but now God proceed 
ed to choose Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem was 
never thoroughly conquered, or taken out of the hands 
of the Jebusites, until David s time. It is said in Josh. 
xv. 63. " As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusa 
lem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but 
the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusa 
lem unto this day." But now David wholly subdued it, 
as we have an account in 2 Sam. v. And now God pro 
ceeded to choose that city to place his name there, as 
appears by David s bringing up the ark thither soon 
after ; and therefore this is mentioned afterwards as the 
first time God proceeded to choose a city to place his 
name there, 2 Chron. vi. 5, 6. and chap. xii. 13. After 
wards God proceeded to show David the very place 
where he would have his temple built, viz. in the thresh 
ing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 

This city of Jerusalem is therefore called the holy city; 
and it was the greatest type of the church of Christ in 
all the Old Testament. It was redeemed by David, the 
captain of the hosts of Israel, out of the hands of the Jebu 
sites, to be God s city, the holy place of his rest for ever 
where he would dwell; as Christ, the captain of his peo 
ple s salvation, redeems his church out of the hands of 
devils, to be his holy and beloved city. And therefore, 
how often does the scripture, when speaking of Christ s 
redemption of his church, call it by the names of Zion 
and Jerusalem 1 This was the city that God had appoint 
ed to be the place of the first gathering and erecting of 
the Christian church after Christ s resurrection, of that 
remarkable pouring out of the Spirit of God on the apos 
tles and primitive Christians, and the place whence the 
gospel was to sound forth into all the world; the place 
9* 



102 



A HISTORY OF THE 



of the first Christian church, that was to be, as it were, 
the mother of all other churches through the world; 
agreeable to that prophecy, Isa. ii. 3, 4. " Out of Zion 
shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from 
Jerusalem : and he shall judge among the nations, and 
shall rebuke many people," &c. 

Thus God chose Mount Sion whence the gospel was 
to be sounded forth, as the law had been from Mount 
Sinai. 

VII. The next thing to be observed here, is God s 
solemnly renewing the covenant of grace with David, 
and promising that the Messiah should be of his seed. 
We have an account of it in the seventh chapter of the se 
cond book of Samuel. It was done on occasion of the 
thoughts David entertained of building God an house. 
On this occasion God sends Nathan the prophet to him, 
with the glorious promises of the covenant of grace. It 
is especially contained in these words in the 16th verse: 
"and thy house and thy kingdom shall be established for 
ever before thee; thy throne shall be established for 
ever." Which promise has respect to Christ, the seed 
of David, and is fulfilled in him only: for the kingdom 
of David has long since ceased, any otherwise than as it 
is upheld in Christ. The temporal kingdom of the house 
of David has now ceased for a great many ages; much 
longer than ever it stood. 

That this covenant that God now established with Da- - 
vid by Nathan the prophet, was the covenant of grace, 
is evident by the plain testimony of scripture, in Isa. lv. 
1, 2, 3. There we have Christ inviting sinners to come 
to the waters, &c. And in the 3d verse, he says, " In 
cline your ear, come unto me ; hear, and your souls shall 
live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, 
even the sure mercies of David." Here Christ offers to 
poor sinners, if they will come to him, to give them an 
interest in the same everlasting covenant that he had 
made with David, conveying to them the same sure 
mercies. But, what is that covenant that sinners obtain 
an interest in, when they come to Christ, but the cove 
nant of grace ] 

This was the fifth solemn establishment of the cove 
nant of grace with the church after the fall. The cove 
nant of grace was revealed and established all along. 
T>ut there had been particular seasons, wherein God had 
in a very solemn manner renewed this covenant with his 
church, giving forth a new edition and establishment of 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 103 

it, revealing it in a new manner. This was now the 
fifth solemn establishment of that covenant. The first 
was with Adam, the second was with Noah, the third 
was with the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the 
fourth was in the wilderness by Moses, and now the fifth 
is this made to David. 

This establishment of the covenant of grace with Da 
vid, David always esteemed the greatest smile of God 
upon him, the greatest honour of all that God had put 
upon him; he prized it, and rejoiced in it above all the 
other blessings of his reign. You may see how joyfully 
and thankfully he received it, when Nathan came to him 
with the glorious message, in 2 Sam. vii. 18. &c. And 
so David, in his last words, declares this to be all his sal 
vation, and all his desire; as you may see, 2 Sam. xxiii. 
5. " He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, or 
dered in all things and sure: for this is all my salvation, 
and all my desire. 

Y T III. It was by David that God first gave his people 
Israel the possession of the whole promised land. I have 
before shown, how God s giving the possession of the 
promised land belonged to the covenant of grace. This 
was done in a great measure by Joshua, but not fully. 
Joshua did not wholly subdue that part of the promised 
land that was strictly called the land of Canaan, and that 
was divided by lot to the several tribes; but there were 
great numbers of the old inhabitants left unsubdued, as 
we read in the books of Joshua and Judges ; and there 
were many left to prove Israel, and to be thorns in their 
sides, and pricks in their eyes. There were the Jebu- 
sites in Jerusalem, and many of the Canaanites, and the 
whole nation of the Philistines, who all dwelt in that part 
of the land that was divided by lot, and chiefly in that 
part of the land that belonged to the tribes of Judah and 
Ephraim. 

And thus these remains of the old inhabitants of Oa- 
naan continued unsubdued until David s time; but he 
wholly subdued them all. Which is agreeable to what 
Stephen observes, Acts vii. 45. " Whichf also our fathers 
brought in with Jesus (i. e. Joshua) into the possession 
of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of 
our fathers, unto the days of David." They were until 
the days of David in driving them out, before they had 
wholly subdued them. But David entirely brought 
them under. He subdued the Jebusites, and he subdued 
the whole nation of the Philistines, and all the rest of the 



104 A HISTORY OF THE 

remains of the seven nations of Canaan: 1 Chron. xviii. 
1. "i\ow after this it came to pass, that David smote the 
Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and her 
towns out of the hands of the Philistines." 

After this, all the remains of the former inhabitants of 
Canaan were made bond servants to the Israelites. The 
posterity of the Gibeonites became servants before, hew 
ers of wood and drawers of water, for the house of God. 
But Solomon, David s son and successor, put all the 
other remains of the seven nations of Canaan to bond 
service ; at least made them pay a tribute of bond ser 
vice, as you may see, 1 Kings ix. 20, 21, 22. And hence 
we read of the children of Solomon s servants, after the 
return from the Babylonish captivity, Ezra ii. 55. and 
Neh. xi. 3. They were the children or posterity of the 
seven nations of Canaan, that Solomon had subjected to 
bond service. 

Thus David subdued the whole land of Canaan, strict 
ly so called. But then that was not one half, nor quart 
er, of the land God had promised to their fathers. The 
land that God had often promised to their fathers, in 
cluded all the countries from the river of Egypt to the 
river Euphrates. These were the bounds of the land 
promised to Abraham, Gen. xv. 18. "In that same day 
the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto 
thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt, 
unto the great river, the river Euphrates." So again 
God promised at Mount Sinai, Exod. xxiii. 31. "And I 
will set thy bounds from the Red Sea even unto the sea 
of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for 
I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand: 
and thou shalt drive them out before thee." So again, 
Dent. xi. 24. " Every place whereon the soles of your 
feet shall tread, shall be yours : from the wilderness, and 
Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto 
the uttermost sea, shall your coast be." Again, the same 
promise is made to Joshua : Josh. i. 3, 4. " Every place 
that the sole of your feet shall tread upon, have I given 
unto you, as I said unto Moses ; from the wilderness and 
this Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Eu 
phrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great 
sea, towards the going down of the sun, shall be your 
coast." But the land that Joshua gave the people the 
possession of, was but a little part of this land. And the 
people never had had the possession of jt, untJJ now when 
God gave it them by David. 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 105 

This large country did not only include that Canaan 
that was divided by lot to those who came in with 
Joshua, but the land "of the Moabites and Ammonites, the 
land of the Amalekites, and the rest of the Edomites, and 
the country ofZobah. All these nations were subdued 
and brought under the children of Israel by David. And 
he put garrisons in the several countries, and they be 
came David s servants, as we have a particular account 
in the eighth chapter of 2d Samuel: and David extended 
their border to the river Euphrates, as was promised ; 
see the 3d verse : " and David smote also Hadadezer the 
son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his 
border at the river Euphrates." And accordingly we 
read, that Solomon his son reigned over all the regions 
on this side the river, 1 Kings iv. 24. " For he had do 
minion over all the region on this side the river, from 
Tiphsah even unto Azzah, over all the kings on this side 
the river." This Artaxerxes king of Persia takes notice 
of long after: Ezra iv. 20. "There have been mighty 
kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all 
countries beyond the river ; and toll, tribute, and custom 
was paid unto them." 

So that Joshua, that type of Christ, did but begin the 
work of giving Israel the possession of the promised land ; 
but left it to be finished by that much greater type and 
ancestor of Christ, even David, who subdued far more 
of that land than ever Joshua had done. And in this ex 
tent of his and Solomon s dominion was some resem 
blance of the great extent of Christ s kingdom; and 
therefore the extent of Christ s kingdom is set forth by 
this very thing, of its being over all lands, from the Red 
Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and over all lands from 
thence to the river Euphrates; as Psa. Ixxii. 8. "He 
shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the 
river unto the ends of the earth." See also 1 Kings 
viii. 56. 

IX. God by David perfected the Jewish worship, and 
added to it several new institutions. The law was given 
by Moses, but yet all the institutions of the Jewish wor 
ship were not given by Moses; some were added by di 
vine direction. So this greatest of all personal types of 
Christ did not only perfect Joshua s work, in giving Is 
rael the possession of the promised land, but he also fin 
ished Moses s work, in perfecting the instituted worship 
of Israel. Thus there must be a number of typical pro 
phets, priests, and princes, to complete one figure or 



106 A HISTORY OF THE 

shadow of Christ the antitype, he being the substance 
of all the types and shadows. Of so much more glory 
was Christ accounted worthy, than Moses, Joshua, Da 
vid, and Solomon, and all the great prophets, priests, and 
princes, judges, and saviours of the Old Testament put 
together. 

The ordinances of David are mentioned as of parallel 
validity with those of Moses, 2 Chron. xxiii. 18. "Also 
Jehoiada appointed the offices of the house of the Lord 
by the hand of the priests the Levites, whom David had 
distributed in the house of the Lord, to offer the burnt 
offerings of the Lord, as it is written in the law of Moses, 
with rejoicing and with singing, as it was ordained by 
David." The worship of Israel was perfected by David, 
by the addition that he made to the ceremonial law, 
which we have an account of in the xxiiid, xxivth, xxvth, 
and xxvith chapters of the first book of Chronicles, con 
sisting in the several orders and courses into which Da 
vid divided the Levites, and the work and business to 
which he appointed them, different from what Moses 
had appointed them to ; and also in the divisions of the 
priests the sons of Aaron into four and twenty courses, 
assigning to every course their business in the house of 
the Lord, and their particular stated times of attendance 
there; and appointing some of the Levites to a new of 
fice, that had not been appointed before ; and that was 
the office of singers; and particularly ordering and regu 
lating of them in that office, as you may see in the xxvth 
chapter of 1 Chronicles ; and appointing others of the 
Levites by law to the several services of porters, treasur 
ers, officers, and judges: and these ordinances of David 
were kept up henceforth in the church of Israel, as long 
as the Jewish church lasted. Thus we find the several 
orders of priests, and the Levites, the porters, and sing 
ers, after the captivity. So we find the courses of the 
priests appointed by David still continuing in the New 
Testament ; so Zacharias the father of John the Baptist 
was a priest of the course of Abia ; which is the same 
with the course of Abijah appointed by David, that we 
read of 1 Chron. xxiv. 10. 

Thus David as well as Moses was made like to Christ 
the son of David, in this respect, that by him God gave 
a new ecclesiastical establishment, and new institutions 
of worship. David did not only add to the institutions 
of Moses, but by those additions he abolished some of 
the old institutions of Moses that had been in force unti 






WORK OF REDEMPTION. 107 

that time ; particularly those laws of Moses that appoint 
ed the business of the Levites, which we have in the 
third and fourth chapters of Numbers, which very much 
consisted in their charge of the several parts and uten 
sils of the tabernacle there assigned to them, and in car 
rying those several parts of the tabernacle. But those 
laws were now abolished by David ; and they were no 
more to carry those things, as they had been used to do 
until David s time. But David appointed them to other 
work instead of it ; see 1 Chron. xxiii. 26. " And also 
unto the Levites; they shall no more carry the taber 
nacle, nor any vessels of it for the service thereof:" a 
sure evidence that the ceremonial law given by Moses 
is not perpetual, as the Jews suppose; but might be 
wholly abolished by Christ: for if David, a type of the 
Messiah, might abolish the law of Moses in part, much 
more might the Messiah himself abolish the whole. 

David, by God s appointment, abolished all use of the 
tabernacle, that was built by Moses, and of which he had 
the pattern from God: for God now revealed it to David 
to be his will, that a temple should be built, that should 
be instead of the tabernacle : a great presage of what 
Christ, the son of David, would do, when he should 
come, viz. abolish the whole Jewish ecclesiastical consti 
tution, which was but as a movable tabernacle, to set 
up the spiritual gospel temple, which was to be far more 
glorious, and of greater extent, and was to last for ever. 
David had the pattern of all things pertaining to the 
temple showed him, even in like manner as Moses had 
the pattern of the tabernacle: and Solomon built the 
temple according to that pattern which he had from his 
father David, which he received from God. 1 Chron. 
xxviii. 11, 12. "Then David gave to Solomon his son the 
pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of 
the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers there 
of, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of 
the mercy seat, and the pattern of all that he had by the 
spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, and of all 
the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house 
of God, and of the treasuries of the delicate things." 
And, ver. 19. All this, said David, the Lord made me 
understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the 
works of this pattern." 

X. The canon of scripture seems at or after the close 
of David s reign to be added to by the prophets Nathan 
and Gad. It appears probable by the scriptures, that 



108 A HISTORY OF THE 

they carried on the history of the two books of Samuel 
from the place where Samuel left it, and finished it. 
These two books of Samuel seem to be the book that in 
the scripture is called the book of Samuel the seer, and 
Nathan the prophet, and Gad the seer, as in I Chron 
xxix. 29. " Now the acts of David the king, first and last, 
behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, 
and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book 
of Gad the seer. 1 

XI. The next thing I would take notice of, is God s 
wonderfully continuing the kingdom of his visible people 
in the line of Christ s legal ancestors, as long as they re 
mained an independent kingdom. Thus it was without 
any interruption worth taking not ce of. Indeed the king 
dom of all the tribes of Israel was not kept in that line 
but the dominion of that part of Israel in which the true 
worship of God was upheld, and so of that part that were 
God s visible people, was always kept in the family of 
David, as long as there was any such thing as an inde 
pendent king of Israel ; according to his promise to Da 
vid: and not only in the family of David, but always in 
that part of David s posterity that was the line whence 
Christ was legally descended ; so that the very person 
that was Christ s legal ancestor was always in the throne, 
excepting Jehoahaz, who reigned three months, and Ze- 
dekiah ; as you may see in Matthew s genealogy of Christ. 

Christ was legally descended from the kings of Judah, 
though he was not naturally descended from them. He 
was both legally and naturally descended from David. 
He was naturally descended from Nathan the son of Da 
vid ; for Mary his mother was one of the posterity of 
David by Nathan, as you may see in Luke s genealogy : 
but Joseph, the reputed and legal father of Christ, was 
naturally descended of Solomon and his successors, as 
we have an account in Matthew s genealogy. Jesus- 
Christ, though he was not the natural son of Joseph, yet, 
by the law and constitution of the Jews, he was Joseph s 
heir; because he was the lawful son of Joseph s lawful 
wife, conceived while she was his legally espoused wife. 
The Holy Ghost raised up seed to him. A person by 
the law of Moses, might be the legal son and heir of an 
other, whose natural son he was not; as sometimes a 
man raised up seed to his brother: a brother, in some 
cases, was to build up a brother s house; so the Holy 
Ghost built up Joseph s house. 

And Joseph being in the direct line of the kings ol 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 109 

Judah, of the house of David, he was the legal heir of the 
crown of David; and Christ being legally his first born 
son, he was his heir; and so Christ, by the law, was the 
proper heir of the crown of David, and is therefore-said 
to sit upon the throne of his father David. 

The crown of God s people was wonderfully kept in 
the line of Christ s legal ancestors. When David was 
old, and not able any longer to manage the affairs of the 
kingdom, Adonijah, one of his sons, set up to be king, 
and seemed to have obtained his purpose ; all things for 
a while seemed fair on his side, and he thought himself 
strong; the thing he aimed at seemed to be accomplish 
ed. But so it was, Adonijah was not the son of David 
that was the ancestor of Joseph, the legal father of Christ; 
and therefore how wonderfully did Providence work 
here ! What a strange and sudden revolution ! All Ado- 
nijah s kingdom and glory vanished away as soon as it 
was begun ; and Solomon, the legal ancestor of Christ, 
was established in the throne. 

And after Solomon s death, when Jeroboam had con 
spired against the family, and Rehoboam carried him 
self so that it was a wonder all Israel was not provoked 
to forsake him, and ten tribes did actually forsake him, 
and set up Jeroboam in opposition to him ; and though 
he was a wicked man, and deserved to have been re 
jected altogether from being king ; yet he being the legal 
ancestor of Christ, God kept the kingdom of the two 
tribes, in which the true religion was upheld, in his pos 
session: and though he had been wicked, and his son 
Abijam was another wicked prince, yet they being le 
gal ancestors of Christ, God still continued the crown in 
the family, and gave it to Abijam s son Asa. And after 
wards, though many of the kings of Judah were very 
wicked men, and horridly provoked God, as particularly 
Jehoram, Ahaziah, Ahaz, Manasseh and Amon ; yet God 
did not take away the crown from their family, but gave 
it to their sons, because they were the ancestors of 
Christ. God s remembering his covenant that he had 
established with David, is given as the reason why God 
did thus, notwithstanding their wicked lives; as 1 Kings 
xv. 4. speaking there of Abijarn s wickedness, it is said, 
"Nevertheless, for David s sake did the Lord his God 
give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, 
and to establish Jerusalem ;" so, 2 Chron. xxi. 7. speak 
ing there of JehorunVs great wickedness, it is said, 
"Howbeit, the Lord would not destroy the house of Da- 
10 



110 A HISTORY OF THE 

vicl, because of the covenant that he had made with Da 
vid, and as he promised to give a light unto him, and tc 
his sons for ever." 

The crown of the ten tribes was changed from one 
family to another continually. First, Jeroboam took it ; 
but the crown remained in his family but for one gene 
ration after his death ; it only descended to his son Na- 
dab: and then Baasha, that was of another family, took 
it ; and it remained in his posterity but one generation 
after his death : and then Zimri, that was his servant, 
and not of his posterity, took it: and then, without de 
scending at all to his posterity, Omri, that was of another 
family, took it ; and the crown continued in his family 
for three successions : and then Jehu, that was of an 
other family, took it; and the crown continued in his 
family for three or four successions: and then Shallum, 
that was of another family, took it: and the crown did 
not descend^at all to his posterity ; but Menahem, that was 
of another family, took it ; and it remained in his family 
but one generation after him ; and then Pekah, that was 
of another family, took it: and after him Hoshea, that 
was still of another family, took it: so great a difference 
was there between the crown of Israel and the crown of 
Judah; the one was continued evermore in the same 
family, and with very little interruption, in one right 
line ; the other was continually tossed about from one 
family to another, as if it were the sport of fortune. The 
reason was not, because the kings of Judah, many of 
them, were better than the kings of Israel ; but the one 
had the blessing in them ; they were the ancestors of 
Christ, whose right it was to sit on the throne of Israel. 
But with the kings of Israel it was not so; and therefore 
divine Providence exercised a continual care, through 
all the changes that happened through so many genera 
tions, and such a long space of time, to keep the crown 
of Judah in one direct line, in fulfilment of the everlast 
ing covenant he had made with David, the mercies of 
which covenant were sure mercies; but in the other 
case there was no such covenant, and so no such care 
of Providence. 

And here it must not be omitted, that there was once 
a very strong conspiracy of the kings of Syria and Is 
rael, in the time of that wicked king of Judah, Ahaz, to 
dispossess Ahaz and his family of the throne of Judah, 
and to set one of another family, even the son of Tabeal 
on it ; as you may see in Isa. vii. 6, " Let us go up against 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. Ill 

Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for 
us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Ta- 
beal." And they seemed very likely to accomplish their 
purpose. There seemed to be so great a likelihood of it, 
that the hearts of the people sunk within them; they 
gave up the cause. It is said, "The heart of Ahaz and 
his people was moved as the trees of the wood are moved 
with the wind." And on this occasion God sent the pro 
phet Isaiah to encourage the people, and tell them that it 
should not come to pass. And because it looked so 
much like a gone cause, that Ahaz and the people would 
very difficultly believe that it would not be, therefore 
God directs the prophet to give them this sign of it, viz. 
that Christ should be born of the legal seed of Ahaz ; as 
Isa. vii. 14. "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you 
a sign : behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, 
and shall call his name Immanuel." This was a good 
sign, and a great confirmation of the truth of what God 
promised by Isaiah, viz. that the kings of Syria and Is 
rael should never accomplish their purpose of dispossess 
ing the family of Ahaz of the crown of Judah, and set 
ting up the son of Tabeal ; for Christ the Immanuel was 
to be of them. 

I have mentioned this dispensation of Providence in 
this place, because though it was continued for so long 
a time, yet it began in Solomon s succession to the throne 
of his father David. 

XII. The next thing I would take notice of is, the 
building of the temple: a great type of three things, viz. 
of Christ, especially the human nature of Christ; of the 
church of Christ; and of heaven. The tabernacle seem 
ed rather to represent the church in its movable, change 
able state, here in this world. But that beautiful, glori 
ous, costly structure of the temple, that succeeded the 
tabernacle, and was a fixed, and not a movable thing, 
seems especially to represent the church in its glorified 
state in heaven. This temple was built according to the 
pattern shown by the Holy Ghost to David, and by di 
vine direction given to David, in the place where was 
the threshing floor of Oman the Jebusite, in Mount Mo- 
riah, 2 Chron. iii. 1. in the same mountain, and doubtless 
in the very same place, where Abraham offered up his 
son Isaac; for that is said to be a mountain in the land 
of Moriah, Gen. xxii. 2. which mountain was called the 
mountain of the Lord, as this mountain of the temple 
was, Gen. xxii. 14. "And Abraham called the name of 



112 A HISTORY OF THE 

that place Jehovahjireh ; as it is said to this day, In the 
mount of the Lord it shall be seen." 

This was the house where Christ dwelt, until he came 
to dwell in the temple of his body, or human nature, 
which was the antitype of this temple; as appears, be 
cause Christ, on occasion of showing him the temple of 
Jerusalem, says, " Destroy this temple, and in three days 
will I raise it up," speaking of the temple of his body, 
John ii. 19, 20. This house, or an house built in this 
place, continued to be the house of God, the place of the 
worship of his church, until Christ came. Here was the 
place that God chose, where all their sacrifices were of 
fered up, until the great sacrifice came, and made the 
sacrifice and oblation to cease. Into his temple in this 
place the Lord came, even the messenger of the cove 
nant. Here he often delivered his heavenly doctrine, 
and wrought miracles; here his church was gathered by 
the pouring out of the Spirit, after his ascension. Luke 
xxiv. 53. speaking of the disciples, after Christ s ascen 
sion, it is said, " And they were continually in the temple, 
praising and blessing God." And, Acts ii. 46. speaking 
of the multitudes that were converted by that great out 
pouring of the Spirit that was on the day of Pentecost, 
it is said, " And they continued daily with one accord in 
the temple." And, Acts v. 42. speaking of the apostles, 
"And daily in the temple, and in every house, they 
ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ." And 
hence the sound of the gospel went forth, and the church 
spread into all the world. 

XIII. It is here worthy to be observed, that at this 
time, in Solomon s reign, after the temple was finished, 
the Jewish church was risen to its highest external 
glory. The Jewish church, or the ordinances and con 
stitution of it, is compared to the moon, in Rev. xii. 1. 
"And there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a wo 
man clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, 
and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." As this 
church was like the moon in many other respects, so it 
was in this, that it waxed and waned like the moon. 
From the first foundation of it, that was laid in the cove 
nant made with Abraham, when this moon was now be 
ginning to appear, it had to this time been gradually in 
creasing in its glory. This time, wherein the temple 
was finished and dedicated, was about the middle be 
tween the calling of Abraham and the coming of Christ, 
and now it was full moon. After this the glory of the 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 113 

Jewish church gradually decreased, until Christ came ; 
as I shall have occasion more particularly to observe 
afterwards. 

Now the church of Israel was in its highest external 
glory: now Israel was multiplied exceedingly, so that 
they seemed to have become like the sand on the sea 
shore, 1 Kings iv. 20. Now the kingdom of Israel was 
firmly established in the right family, the family of which 
Christ was to come : now r God had chosen the city where 
he would place his name : now God had fully given his 
people the possession of the promised land; and they 
now possessed the dominion of it all in quietness and 
peace, even from the river of Egypt, to the great river 
Euphrates ; all those nations that had formerly been their 
enemies, quietly submitted to them ; none pretended to 
rebel against them : now the Jewish worship in all its 
ordinances was fully settled : now, instead of a mov 
able tent and tabernacle, they had a glorious temple ; 
the most magnificent, beautiful, and costly structure, 
that there was then, ever had been, or ever has been 
since: now the people enjoyed peace and plenty, and sat 
every man under his vine and fig tree, eating and drink 
ing, and making merry, as 1 Kings iv. 20. Now they 
were in the highest pitch of earthly prosperity, silver be 
ing as plenty as stones, and the land full of gold and 
precious stones, and other precious foreign commodities, 
which were brought by Solomon s ships from Ophir, and 
which came from other parts of the world : now they 
had a king reigning over them that was the wisest of 
men, and probably the greatest earthly prince that ever 
was: now their fame went abroad into all the earth, so 
that they came from the utmost parts of the earth to see 
their glory and their happiness. 

Thus God was pleased, in one of the ancestors of 
Christ, remarkably to shadow forth the kingdom of 
Christ reigning in his glory. David, that was a man of 
war, a man who had shed much blood, and whose life 
was full of troubles and conflicts, was more of a repre 
sentation of Christ in his state of humiliation, his militant 
state, wherein he was conflicting with his enemies. But 
Solomon, that was a man of peace, was a representation 
more especially of Christ exalted, triumphing, and reign 
ing in his kingdom of peace. And the happy glorious 
state of the Jewish church at that time, did remarkably 
represent two things: 1. That glorious state of the 
church on earth that shall be in the latter ages of the 
10* 



114 A HISTORY OF THE 

world ; those days of peace, when nation shall not lift 
sword against nation, nor learn war any more. 2. The 
future glorified state of the church in heaven. The 
earthly Canaan never was so lively a type of the hea 
venly Canaan, as it was then, when the happy people of 
Israel did indeed enjoy it as a land flowing with milk 
and honey. 

XIV. After this the glory of the Jewish church grad 
ually declined more and more until Christ came ; yet 
not so but that the work of redemption still went on. 
Whatever failed or declined, God still carried on this 
work from age to age ; this building was still advancing 
higher and higher. Things still went on, during the de 
cline of the Jewish church, towards a further prepara 
tion of things for the coming of Christ, as well as during 
its increase ; for so wonderfully were things ordered by 
the infinitely wise Governor of the world, that whatever 
happened was ordered for good to this general design, 
and made a means of promoting it. When the people 
of the Jews flourished, and were in prosperity, he made 
that to contribute to the promoting this design ; and 
when they were in adversity, God made that also to 
contribute to the carrying on of the same design. While 
the Jewish church was in its increasing state, the work 
of redemption was carried on by their increase; and 
when they came to their declining state, which they 
were in from Solomon s time until Christ, God carried 
on the work of redemption by that. That decline itself 
was one thing that God made use of as a further prepa- 
tion for Christ s coming. 

As the moon, from the time of its full, is approaching 
nearer and nearer to her conjunction with the sun ; so 
her light is still more and more decreasing, until at 
length, when the conjunction comes, it is wholly swal 
lowed up in the light of the sun. So it was with the 
Jewish church from the time of its highest glory in Solo 
mon s time. In the latter end of Solomon s reign, the 
state of things began to darken, by Solomon s corrupt 
ing himself with idolatry, which much obscured the glory 
of this mighty and wise prince; and withal troubles be 
gan to arise in his kingdom ; and after his death the 
kingdom was divided, and ten tribes revolted, and with 
drew their subjection from the house of David, withal 
falling away from the true worship of God in the templo 
at Jerusalem, and setting up the golden calves of Bethel 
and Dan. And presently after this the number of the 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 115 

ten tribes was greatly diminished in the battle of Jero 
boam with Abijah, wherein there fell down slain of Israel 
five hundred thousand chosen men ; which loss the king 
dom of Israel probably never in any measure recovered. 

The ten tribes finally apostatized from the true God 
under Jeroboam, and the kingdom of Judah was greatly 
corrupted, and from that time forward were more gene 
rally in a corrupt state than otherwise. In Ahab s time 
the kingdom of Israel did not only worship the calves of 
Bethel and Dan, but the worship of Baal was introduced. 
Before, they pretended to worship the true God by these 
images, the calves of Jeroboam; but now Ahab intro 
duced gross idolatry, and the direct worship of false gods 
in the room of the true God; and soon after the worship 
of Baal was introduced into the kingdom of Judah, viz. 
in Jehoram s reign, by his marrying Athaliah the daugh 
ter of Ahab. After this God began to cut Israel short, 
by finally destroying and sending into captivity that part 
of the land that was beyond Jordan, as you may see in 
2 Kings x. 32. &c. And then after this Tiglathpileser 
subdued and captivated all the northern parts of the 
land ; 2 Kings xv. 29. and then at last all the land of the 
ten tribes was subdued by Salmaneser, and they were 
finally carried captive out of their own land. After this 
also the kingdom of Judah was carried captive into Ba 
bylon, and a great part of the nation never returned. 
Those that returned \vere but a small number, compared 
with what had been carried captive ; and for the most 
part after this they were dependent on the power of 
other states, being subject one while to the kings of Per 
sia, then to the monarchy of the Grecians, and then to 
the Romans. And before Christ s time, the church of 
the Jews was become exceeding corrupt, overrun with 
superstition and self righteousness. And how small a 
flock was the church of Christ in the days of his incar 
nation ! 

God, by this gradual decline of the Jewish state and 
church from Solomon s time, prepared the way for the 
coming of Christ several ways. 

1. The decline of the glory of this legal dispensation, 
made way for the introduction of the more glorious dis 
pensation of the gospel. The decline of the glory of the 
legal dispensation, was to make way for the introduc 
tion of the evangelical dispensation, that was so much 
more glorious, that the legal dispensation had no glory 
in comparison with it. The glory of the ancient dispen- 



116 A HISTORY OF THE 

sation, such as it was in Solomon s time, consisting so 
much in external glory, was but a childish glory, com 
pared with the spiritual glory of the dispensation intro 
duced by Christ. The church, under the Old Testament, 
was a child under tutors and governors, and God dealt 
with it as a child. Those pompous externals are called 
by the apostle, weak and beggarly elements. It was fit 
that those things should be diminished as Christ ap 
proached ; as John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, 
speaking of Christ, says, "He must increase, but I must 
decrease," John iii. 30. It is fit that the twinkling stars 
should gradually withdraw their glory, when the sun is 
approaching towards his rising. The glory of the Jew 
ish dispensation must be gradually diminished, to pre 
pare the way for the more joyful reception of the spirit 
ual glory of the gospel. If the Jewish church, when 
Christ came, had been in the same external glory that it 
was in, in the reign of Solomon, men would have had 
their eyes so dazzled with it, that they would not have 
been likely joyfully to exchange such great external 
glory, for only the spiritual glory of the poor despised 
Jesus. Again, 

2. This gradual decline of the glory of the Jewish state, 
tended to prepare the way for Christ s coming another 
way, viz. as it tended to make the glory of God s power, 
in the great effects of Christ s redemption, the more con 
spicuous. God s people being so diminished and weak 
ened by one step after another, until Christ came, was 
very much like the diminishing Gideon s army. God 
told Gideon, that the people that was with him, was too 
many for him to deliver the Midianites into their hands, 
lest Israel should vaunt themselves against him, saying, 
"My own hand hath saved me." And therefore all that 
were fearful were commanded to return ; and there re 
turned twenty and two thousand, and there remained 
ten thousand. But still they were too many; and then, 
by trying the people at the water, they were reduced to 
three hundred men. So the people in Solomon s time 
were too many, and mighty, and glorious for Christ , 
therefore he diminished them ; first, by sending off the 
ten tribes; and then he diminished them again by the cap 
tivity into Babylon ; and then they were further diminish 
ed by the great and general corruption that there was 
when Christ came; so that Christ found very few godly 
persons among them : and with a small handful of dis- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 117 

ciples, Christ conquered the world. Thus high things 
were brought down, that Christ might be exalted. 

3. This prepared the way for Christ s coming, as it 
made the salvation of those Jews that were saved by 
Christ, to be more sensible and visible. Though the 
greater part of the nation of the Jews was rejected, and 
the Gentiles called in their room ; yet there were a great 
many thousands of the Jews that were saved by Christ 
after his resurrection, Acts xxi. 20. They being taken 
from so low a state under temporal calamity in their 
bondage to the Romans, and from a state of great super 
stition and wickedness, that the Jewish nation was then 
fallen into ; it made their redemption the more sensibly 
and visibly glorious. 

I have taken notice of this dispensation of Providence 
in the gradual decline of the Jewish church in this place, 
because it began in the reign of Solomon. 

XV. I would here take notice of the additions that 
were made to the canon of scripture in or soon after the 
reign of Solomon. There were considerable additions 
made by Solomon himself, who wrote the books of Pro 
verbs and Ecclesiastes, probably near the close of his 
reign. His writing the Song of Songs, as it is called, is 
what is especially here to be taken notice of, which is 
wholly on the subject that we are upon, viz. Christ and 
his redemption, representing the high and glorious rela 
tion, and union, and love, that is between Christ and his 
redeemed church. And the history of the scripture 
seems, in Solomon s reign, and some of the next succeed 
ing reigns, to have been added to by the prophets Na 
than and Ahijah, and Shemaiah and Iddo. It is probable 
that part of the history which we have in the first of 
Kings, was written by them, by what is said, 2 Chron. 
ix. 29. and in chap. xii. 15. and in chap. xiii. 22. 

XVI. God s wonderfully upholding his church and the 
true religion through this period. It was very wonder 
ful considering the many and great apostasies that were 
of that people to idolatry. When the ten tribes had gen 
erally and finally forsaken the true worship of God, God 
kept up the true religion in the kingdom of Judah ; and 
when they corrupted themselves, as they very often did 
exceedingly, and idolatry was ready totally to swallow 
all up, yet God kept the lamp alive, and was often pleas 
ed, when thin ITS seemed to be come to an extremity, and 
religion at its last gasp, to grant blessed revivals by re . 



118 A HISTORY OF THE 

markable outpourings of his Spirit, particularly in Heze- 
kiah s and Josiah s time. 

XVII. God remarkably kept the book of the law from 
being lost in times of general and long continued neglect 
of and enmity against it. The most remarkable instance 
of this kind that we have, was the preservation of the 
book of the law in the time of the great apostasy during 
the greatest part of the long reign of Manasseh, which 
lasted filly-five years, and then after that the reign of 
Amon his son. This while the book of the law was so 
much neglected, and such a careless and profane man 
agement of the affairs of the temple prevailed, that the 
book of the law, that used to be laid up by the side of 
the ark in the Holy of Holies, was lost for a long time ; 
no body knew where it was. But yet God preserved it 
from being finally lost. In Josiah s time, when they 
came to repair the temple, it was found buried in rub 
bish, after it had been lost so long that Josiah himself 
seems to have been much a stranger to it until now.- 
See 2 Kings xxii. 8. &c. 

XVIII. God s remarkably preserving the tribe of which 
Christ was to proceed, from being ruined through the 
many and great dangers of this period. The visible 
church of Christ from~ Solomon s reign, was mainly in 
the tribe of Judah. The tribe of Benjamin, that was an 
nexed to them, was but a very small tribe, and the tribe 
of Judah exceeding large; and as Judah took Benjamin 
under his covert when he went into Egypt to bring corn, 
so the tribe of Benjamin seemed to be under the covert 
of Judah ever after: and though, on occasion of Jero 
boam s setting up the calves at Bethel and Dan, the Le- 
vites resorted to Judah out of all the tribes of Israel, (2 
Chron. xi. 13.) yet they were also small, and not reck 
oned among the tribes: and though many of the ten 
tribes did also on that occasion, for the sake of the wor 
ship of God in the temple, leave their inheritances in 
their several tribes, and removed and settled in Judah, 
and so were incorporated with them, as we have an ac 
count in the chapter just quoted, and 16th verse ; yet the 
tribe of Judah was so much the prevailing part, that they 
were called by one name, they were called Judah : there 
fore God said to Solomon, 1 Kings xi. 13. "I will not 
rend away all the kingdom ; but will give one tribe to 
thy son, for David my servant s sake, and for Jerusa 
lem s sake, which I have chosen," and so ver. 32. 36. So 
when the ten tribes were carried captive, it is said, there 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 

was none left but the tribe of Judah only : 2 Kings xvii. 
18. "Therefore the Lord was very wroth with Israel, 
and removed them out of his sight : there was none left 
but the tribe of Judah only." Whence they were all 
called Jews, which is a word that comes from Judah. 

This was the tribe of which Christ was to come ; and 
in this chiefly did God s visible church consist, from So 
lomon s time: and this was the people over whom the 
kings that were legal ancestors of Christ, and were of 
the house of David, reigned. This people was wonder 
fully preserved from destruction during this period ; 
when they often seemed to be upon the brink of ruin, 
and just ready to be swallowed up. So it was in Reho- 
boam s time, when Shishak king of Egypt came against 
Judah with such a vast force; yet then God manifestly 
preserved them from being destroyed. Of this we read 
in the beginning of the 12th chapter of 2 Chronicles. So 
it was again in Abijah s time, when Jeroboam set the 
battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand 
chosen men ; a mighty army indeed. We read of it, 2 
Chron. xiii. 3. Then God wrought deliverance to Judah, 
out of regard to the covenant of grace established with 
David, as is evident by ver. 4. and 5. and the victory 
they obtained was because the Lord was on their side, 
as you may see, ver. 12. So it was again in Asa s time, 
when Zerah the Ethiopian came against him with a yet 
larger army of a thousand thousand, and three hundred 
chariots, 2 Chron. xiv. 9. On this occasion Asa cried to 
the Lord, and trusted in him, being sensible that it was 
nothing with him to help those that had no power; ver. 
11. "And Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said, 
Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, 
or with those that have no power." And accord \i\g\y 
God gave them a glorious victory over this mighty host. 

So again it was in Jehoshaphat s time, when the child 
ren of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and the inhab 
itants of Mount Seir, combined together against Judah 
with a mighty army, a force vastly superior to any that 
Jehoshaphat could raise; and Jehoshaphat and his peo 
ple were greatly afraid : yet they set themselves to seek 
God on this occasion, and trusted in him; and God told 
them by one of his prophets, that they need not fear 
them, nor should they have any occasion to fight in this 
battle, they should only stand still and see the salvation 
of the Lord. And according to his direction, they only 
stood still, and sang praises to God, and God made their 



120 A HISTORY OF THE 

enemies do the work themselves, and set them to killing 
one another; and the children of Judah had nothing to 
do, but to gather the spoil, which was more than they 
could carry away. We have the story in 2 C hron. xx. 

So it was again in Ahaz s time, when Rezin the king 
of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, the king of Is 
rael, conspired against Juclah, and seemed to be sure of 
their purpose; of which we have spoken already, fco it 
was again in Hezekiuh s time, when Sennacherib, that 
great king of Assyria, and head of the greatest mon 
archy that was then in the world, came up against all 
the fenced cities of Judah, after he had conquered most 
of the neighbouring countries, and sent Rabshakeh. the 
captain of his host, against Jerusalem, who came, and in 
a very proud and scornful manner insulted Hezekiah 
and his people, as being sure of victory; and the people 
were trembling for fear, like lambs before a lion. Then 
( iod sent Isaiah the prophet to comfort them, and assure 
them that they should not prevail; as a token of which 
he gave them this sign, viz. that the earth, for two years 
successively, should bring forth food of itself, from the 
roots of the old stalks, without their ploughing or sow 
ing ; and then the third year they should sow and reap, 
and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them, and live 
nn the fruits of their labour, as they were wont to do be 
fore. ISee 2 Kings xix. 29. This is mentioned as a type 
of what is promised in ver. SO, 31. "And the remnant 
that is escaped of the house of Judah, shall yet again 
take root downward, and bear fruit upward. For out of 
Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape, 
out of Mount Zion : the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall 
do this." The corn s springing again after it had been 
cut off with the sickle, and bringing forth another crop 
from the roots, that seemed to be dead, and so once and 
again, represents the church s reviving again, as it were 
out of its own ashes, and flourishing like a plant after it 
had seemingly been cut down past recovery. When the 
enemies of the church have done their utmost, and seem 
to have gained their point, and to have overthrown the 
church, so that the being of it is scarcely visible, but like 
a living root hid under ground ; yet there is a secret life 
in it that will cause it to flourish again, and to take root 
downward, and bear fruit upward. This was fulfilled 
now at this time: for the king of Assyria had already 
taken and carried captive the ten tribes; and Sennach 
erib had also taken all the fenced cities of Judah, and 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 121 

ranged the country round about, and Jerusalem only re 
mained ; and Rabshakeh had in his own imagination al 
ready swallowed that up, as he had also in the fearful 
apprehensions of the Jews themselves. But yet God 
wrought a wonderful deliverance. He sent an angel, 
that in one night smote an hundred fourscore and five 
thousand in the enemy s camp. 

XIX. In the reign of Uzziah, and the following reigns, 
God was pleased to raise up a set of eminent prophets, 
who should commit their prophecies to writing, a-nd 
leave them for the use of his church in all ages. We be 
fore observed, how that God began a constant succes 
sion of prophets in Israel in Samuel s time, and many of 
these prophets wrote by divine inspiration, and so added 
to the canon of scripture before Uzziah s time. But 
none of them are supposed to have written books of pro 
phecies until now. Several of them wrote histories of 
the wonderful dispensations of God towards his church. 
This we have observed already of Samuel, who is sup 
posed to have written Judges and Ruth, and part of the 
first of Samuel, if not the book of Joshua. And Nathan 
and Gad seem to have written the rest of the two books 
of Samuel : and Nathan, with Ahijah and Iddo, wrote 
the history of Solomon, which is probably that which 
we have in the first book of Kings. The history of Is 
rael seems to have been further carried on by Iddo and 
Shemaiah : 2 Chron. xii. 15. "Now the acts of Rehobo- 
am, first and last, are they not written in the book of 
Shemaiah the prophet, and Iddo the seer, concerning 
genealogies 1" And after that the history seems to have 
been further carried on by the prophet Jehu, the son of 
Hanani : 2 Chron. xx. 34. "Now the rest of the acts of 
Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in 
the book of Jehu, the son of Hanani, who is mentioned 
in the book of the kings of Israel," as we find him to be, 
1 Kings xvi. 1, 7. And then it was further continued by 
the Prophet Isaiah : 2 Chron. xxvi. 22. "Now the rest of 
the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet 
the son of Amoz write." He probably did it as well in 
the second book of Kings, as in the book of his prophecy. 
And the history was carried on and finished by other 
prophets after him. 

Thus the prophets, even from Samuel s time, had from 
time to time been adding to the canon of scripture by 
their historical writings. But now, in the days of Uz 
ziah, did God first raise up a set of great prophets, not 



122 A HISTORY OF THE 

only to write histories, but to write books of theif 
prophecies. The first of these is thought to be Hosea 
the son of Beeri, and therefore his prophecy, or the 
word of the Lord by him, is called the beginning o 
the word of the Lord ; as Hos. i. 2. " The beginning 
of the word of the Lord by Hosea ;" that is, the be~- 

f inning, or the first part, of the written word of that 
ind, viz. that which is written in books of prophecy. 
He prophesied in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and 
Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam, 
the son of Joash, king of Israel. There were many other 
witnesses for God raised up about the same time, to 
commit their prophecies to writing, Isaiah, and Amos, 
and Jonah, and Micah, and Nahum, and probably some 
others ; and so from that time forward God seemed to 
continue a succession of writing prophets. 

This was a great dispensation of Providence, and 
a great advance made in the affair of redemption, 
which appears, if we consider what was said before, that 
the main business of the prophets was to foreshow Christ 
and his redemption. They were all forerunners of the 
great prophet. The main end why the spirit of prophecy 
was given them was, that they might give testimony to 
Jesus Christ, the great Redeemer, that was to come ; and 
therefore the testimony of Jesus, and the spirit of pro 
phecy, are spoken of as the same thing: Rev. xix. 10. 
"And I fell at his feet to worship him : and he said unto 
me, See thou do it not : I am thy fellow servant, and of 
thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship 
God : for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." 
And therefore we find, that the great and main thing 
that the most of the prophets in their written prophecies 
insist upon, is Christ and his redemption, and the glori 
ous times of the gospel, which should be in the latter 
days, according to their manner of expression. And 
though many other things were spoken of in their pro 
phecies, yet it seems to be only as introductory to their 
prophecy of these great things. Whatever they prophe 
sy of, here their prophecies commonly terminate, as you 
may see by a careful perusal of their writings. 

These prophets were set to writing their prophecies 
by the Spirit of Christ that was in them, chiefly for that 
end, to foreshow and prepare the way for the coming of 
Christ, and the glory that should follow. And in what 
an exalted strain do they all speak of those things ! Many 
other things they speak of in men s usual language. 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 123 

But when they come upon this subject, what a joyful 
heavenly sublimity is there in the language they use 
about it ! Some of them are very particular and full in 
their predictions of these things, and above all the Pro 
phet Isaiah, who is therefore deservedly called the evan 
gelical prophet. He seems to teach the glorious doc 
trines of the gospel almost as plainly as the apostles did, 
who preached after Christ was actually come. The 
Apostle Paul therefore takes notice, that the Prophet 
Esaias is very bold, Rom. x. 20. i. e. as the meaning of 
the word, as used in the New Testament, is, very plain ; 
he speaks out very plainly and fully; so being "very 
bold" is used, 2 Cor. iii. 12. we use "great plainness of 
speech," or " boldness," as it is in the margin. 

How plainly and fully does the Prophet Isaiah describe 
the manner and circumstances, the nature and end, of 
the sufferings and sacrifice of Christ, in the 53d chapter 
of his prophecy. There is scarce a chapter in the New 
Testament itself which is more full on it ! and how much, 
and in what a glorious strain, does the same prophet 
speak from time to time of the glorious benefits of Christ, 
the unspeakable blessings which shall redound to his 
church through his redemption ! Jesus Christ, the person 
that this prophet spoke so much of, once appeared to 
Isaiah in the form of the human nature, the nature that 
he should afterwards take upon him. We have an ac 
count of it in the 6th chapter of his prophecy at the be 
ginning: "I saw also the Lord sitting on a throne, high 
and lifted up, and his train filled the temple," &c. This 
was Christ that Isaiah now saw, as we are expressly 
told in the New Testament. See John xii. 39, 40, 41. 

And if we consider the abundant prophecies of this 
and the other prophets, what a great increase is there 
of the light of the gospel, which had been growing from 
the fall of man to this day ! How plentiful are the reve 
lations and prophecies of Christ now, to what they were 
in the first period of the Old Testament, from Adam to 

, Noah ! Or to what they were in the second, from Noah 
to Abraham ! Or to what they were before Moses, or 

i in the time of Moses, Joshua, and the Judges ! This dis 
pensation that we are now speaking of, was also a glo 
rious advance of the work of redemption by the great 
additions that were made to the canon of scripture. 
Great part of the Old Testament was written now, from 
the days of Uzziah to the captivity into Babylon. And, 
how excellent are those portions of it ! What a pre 



124 A HISTORY OF THE 

cious treasure have those prophets committed to the 
church of God, tending greatly to confirm the gospel of 
Christ, and which has been of great comfort arid benefit 
to God s church in all ages since, and doubtless will be 
to the end of the world. 



PART VI. 



FROM THE BABYLONISH CAPTIVITY TO THE COMING OF 
CHRIST. 

I COME now to the last period of the Old Testament, viz. 
that which begins with the Babylonish captivity, and 
extends to the coming of Christ, being the greatest part 
of six hundred years, to shew how the work of redemp 
tion was carried on through this period. 

But before I enter upon particulars, I would observe 
in three things wherein this period is distinguished from 
the preceding periods of the times of the Old Testament. 

1. Though we have no account of a great part of this 
period in the scripture history, yet the events of this pe 
riod are more the subject of scripture prophecy, than 
any of the preceding periods. There are two ways 
wherein the scriptures give account of the events by 
which the work of redemption is carried on ; one is by 
history, and another is by prophecy: and in one or the 
other of these ways we have contained in the scriptures 
an account how the work of redemption is carried on 
from the beginning to the end. Although the scriptures 
do not contain a proper history of the whole, yet there 
is contained the whole chain of great events by which 
this affair hath been carried on from the foundation, 
soon after the fall of man, to the finishing of it at the end 
of the world, either in history or prophecy. And it is to 
be observed, that where the scripture is wanting in one 
of these ways, it is made up in the other. Where scrip 
ture history fails, there prophecy takes place ; so that 
he account is still carried on, and the chain is not bro- 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 125 

ken, until we come to the very last link of it in the con 
summation of all things. 

And accordingly it is observable of this period or space 
of time that we are upon, that though it is so much less 
the subject of scripture history, than most of the preced 
ing periods, so that there is above four hundred years of 
it that the scriptures give us no history of; yet the events 
of this period are more the subject of scripture prophecy, 
than the events of ail the preceding periods put together. 
Most of those remarkable prophecies of the book of Dan 
iel do refer to events that were accomplished in this pe 
riod : so most of those prophecies in Isaiah, and Jere 
miah, and Ezekiel, against Babylon, and Tyrus, and 
against Egypt, and many other nations, were fulfilled in. 
this period. 

So that the reason why the scriptures give us no his 
tory of so great a part of this period, is not because the 
events of this period were not so important, or less wor 
thy to be taken notice of, than the events of the foregoing 
periods ; for I shall hereafter show how great and dis- 
tinguishedly remarkable the events of this period were. 
But there are several other reasons which may be given 
of it. One is, that it was the will of God that the spirit 
of prophecy should cease in this period, (for reasons that 
may be given hereafter ;) so that there were no prophets 
to write tne history of these times ; and therefore God 
designing this, took care that the great events of this pe 
riod should not be without mention in his word ; and so 
ordered it, that the prophecies of scripture should be 
more full here, than in the preceding periods. It is ob 
servable, that that set of writing prophets that God raised 
up in Israel, were raised up at the latter end of the fore 
going period, and at the beginning of this; which it is 
likely was partly for that reason, that the time was now 
approaching, of which the spirit of prophecy having 
ceased, there was to be no scripture history, and there 
fore no other scripture account but what was given in 
prophecy. 

And another reason that may be given why there was 
so great a part of this period left without an historical 
account in scripture, is, that God in his providence took 
care, that there should be authentic and full accounts of 
the events of this period preserved in profane history. 
It is remarkable, and very worthy to be taken notice of, 
that with respect to the events of the five preceding pe 
riods, of which the scriptures give the history, profane 



126 A HISTORY OF THE 

history gives us no account, or at least of but very lew 
of them. There are many fabulous and uncertain ac 
counts of things that happened before; but the begin 
ning of the times of authentic profane history is judged 
to be but a little before Nebuchadnezzar s time, about an 
hundred years before. The learned men among the 
Greeks and Romans .used to call the ages before that the 
fabulous age ; but the times after that they called the 
historical age. And from about that time to the coming of 
Christ, we have undoubted accounts in profane history 
of the principal events; accounts that wonderfully agree 
with the many prophecies that we have in scripture of 
those times. 

Thus did the great God, that disposes all things, order 
it. He took care to give an historical account of things 
from the beginning of the world, through all those form 
er ages which profane history does not reach, and ceased 
not until he came to those later ages in which profane 
history related things with some certainty : and concern 
ing those times, he gives us abundant account in proph 
ecy, that by comparing profane history with those pro 
phecies, we might see the agreement. 

2. This period being the last period of the Old Testa 
ment, and the next to the coming of Christ, seems to 
have been remarkably distinguished from all others in 
the great revolutions that were among the nations of the 
earth, to make way for the kingdom of Christ. The 
time now drawing nigh, wherein Christ, the great King 
and Saviour of the world, was to come, great and mighty 
were the changes that were brought to pass in order to 
it. The way had been preparing for the coming of 
Christ from the fall of man, through all the foregoing pe 
riods: but now the time drawing nigh, things began to 
ripen apace for Christ s coming; and therefore divine 
Providence wrought wonderfully now. The greatest 
revolutions that any history whatsoever gives an ac 
count of, that ever had been from the flood, fell out in 
this period. Almost all the then known world, i. e. all 
the nations that were round about the land of Canaan, 
far and near, that were within the reach of their know 
ledge, were overturned again and again. All lands were 
in their turns subdued, captivated, and as it were emp 
tied, and turned upside down, and that, most of them re 
peatedly, in this period ; agreeable to that prophecy, Isa. 
xxiv. 1. " Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty ; he 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 127 

maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scat- 
tereth abroad the inhabitants thereof." 

This emptying, and turning upside down, began with 
God s visible church, in their captivity by the king of 
Babylon. And then the cup from them went round to 
all other nations, agreeable to what God revealed to the 
Prophet Jeremiah, xxv. 15 27. Here special respect 
seems to be had to the great revolutions that there were 
on the face of the earth in the times of the Babylonish em 
pire. But after that there were three general overturn- 
ings of the world before Christ came, in the succession 
of the three great monarchies of the world that were 
after the Babylonish empire. The king of Babylon is 
represented in scripture as overturning the world : but 
after that, the Babylonish empire was overthrown by 
Cyrus, who founded the Persian empire in the room of 
it; which was of much greater extent than the Babylon 
ish empire in its greatest glory. Thus the world was 
overturned the second time. And then, after that, the 
Persian empire was overthrown by Alexander, and the 
Grecian empire was set up upon the ruins of it; which 
was still of much greater extent than the Persian em 
pire : and thus there was a general overturning of the 
world a third time. And then, after that, the Grecian 
empire was overthrown by the Romans, and the Ro 
man empire was established; which vastly exceeded all 
the foregoing empires in power and extent of dominion. 
And so the world was overturned the fourth time. 

These several monarchies, and the great revolutions 
of the world under them, are abundantly spoken of in 
the prophecies of Daniel. They are represented in Nebu 
chadnezzar s image of gold, silver, brass, and iron, and 
Daniel s interpretation of it in the 2d chapter of Daniel; 
and then in Daniel s vision of the four beasts, and the 
angel s interpretation of it in the 7th chapter of Daniel. 
And the succession of the Persian and Grecian monar 
chies is more particularly represented in the 8th chapter 
in Daniel s vision of the ram and the he-goat, and again 
in the llth chapter of Daniel. 

And besides these four general overturnings of the 
world, the world was kept in a constant tumult between 
whiles: and indeed the world was as it were in a con 
tinual convulsion through this whole period until Christ 
came. Before this period, the face of the earth was 
comparatively in quietness: though there were many 
great wars among the nations, yet we read of no such 



128 A HISTORY OF THE 

mighty and universal convulsions and overturnings as 
there were in this period. The nations of the world, 
most of them, had long remained on their lees as it were, 
without being emptied from vessel to vessel, as is said 
of Moab, Jer. xlviii. II. Now these great overturnings 
were because the time of the great Messiah drew nigh. 
That they were to prepare the way for Christ s coming, 
is evident by scripture, particularly by Ezek. xxi. 27. "I 
will overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no 
more, until he come whose right it is, and I will give it 
him." The prophet, by repeating the word overturn 
three times, has respect to three overturnings, as in the 
Revelation, viii. 13. the repetition of the word wo three 
times, signifies three distinct. woes; as appears by what 
follows, ix. 12. "One wo is past;" and xi. 14. "The 
second wo is past, and behold the third wo cometh 
quickly." 

It must be noted, that the Prophet Ezekiel prophesied 
in the time of the Babylonish captivity; and therefore 
there were three great and general overturnings of the 
world to come after this prophecy, before Christ came; 
the first by the Persians, the second by the Grecians, the 
third by the Romans ; and then after that, Christ, whose 
right it was to take the diadem, and reign, should come. 
Here these great overturnings are evidently spoken of 
as preparatory to the coming and kingdom of Christ. 
But to understand the words aright, we must note the 
particular expression, " I will overturn, overturn, over 
turn it," i. e. the diadem and crown of Israel, or the su 
preme temporal dominion over God s visible people. 
This God said should be no more, i. e. the crown should 
be taken off, and the diadem removed, as it is said in the 
foregoing verse. The supreme power over Israel should 
be no more in the royal line of David, to which it pro 
perly belonged, but should be removed away, and given 
to others, and overturned from one to another : first the 
supreme power over Israel should be in the hands of the 
Persians ; and then it should be overturned again ; and 
then it should be in the hands of the Grecians ; and then 
it should be overturned again, and come into the hands 
of the Romans, and should be no more in the line of Da 
vid, until that very person should come, that was the 
son of David, whose proper right it was, and then God 
would give it to him. 

That those great shakings and revolutions of the na 
tions of the world, were all to prepare the way for Christ s 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 129 

coming, and setting up his kingdom in the world, is fur 
ther manifest by Haggai ii. 6, 7. "For thus saith the 
Lord of hosts, Yet once, it is a little while, and I will 
shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the 
dry land: and I will shake all nations, and the desire of 
all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, 
saith the Lord of hosts." And again, verse 21, 22, and 
23. It is evident by this, that these great revolutions 
and shakings of the nations, whereby the thrones of 
kingdoms and armies were overthrown, and every one 
came down by the sword of his brother, were to pre 
pare the way for the coming of him who is the desire of 
all nations. 

The great changes and troubles that have sometimes 
been in the visible church of Christ, are, in Rev. xii. 2. 
compared to the church s being in travail to bring forth 
Christ; so these great troubles and mighty revolutions 
that were in the world before Christ was born, were, as 
it were, the world s being in travail to bring forth the 
Son of God. The apostle, in the 8th of Romans, repre 
sents the whole creation as groaning and travailing in 
pain together until now, to bring forth the liberty and 
manifestation of the children of God. So the world as it 
were travailed in pain, and was in continual convulsions, 
for several hundred years together, to bring forth the 
first born child, and the only begotten Son of God. And 
those mighty revolutions were as so many pangs and 
throes in order to it. The world being so long a time 
kept in a state of war and bloodshed, prepared the way 
for the coming of the Prince of Peace, as it showed the 
great need the world stood in of such a prince, to deliver 
the world from its miseries. 

It pleased God to order it in his providence, that earth 
ly power and dominion should be raised to its greatest 
height, and appear in its utmost glory, in those four 
great monarchies that succeeded one another, and that 
every one should be greater and more glorious than the 
preceding, before he set up the kingdom of his Son. By 
this it appeared how much more glorious his spiritual 
kingdom was than the most glorious temporal kingdom. 
The strength and glory of Satan s kingdom in these four 
mighty monarchies, appeared in its greatest height : for 
those monarchies were the monarchies of the heathen 
world, and so the strength of them was the -strength of 
Satan s kingdom. God suffered Satan s kingdom to rise 
to so great a height of power and magnificence before 



130 A HISTORY OF THE 

his Son came to overthrow it, to prepare the way for the 
more glorious triumph of his Son. Goliath must have 
on all his splendid armour when the stripling David 
comes against him with a sling and a stone, for the 
greater glory of David s victory. God suffered one of 
those great monarchies to subdue another, and erect it 
self on the other s ruins, appearing still in greater strength, 
and the last to be the strongest and mightiest of all ; that 
so Christ, in overthrowing that, might as it were over 
throw them all at once; as the stone cut out of the 
mountain without hands, is represented as destroying 
the whole image, the gold, the silver, the brass, the iron 
and the clay; so that ^11 became as the chaff of the sum 
mer threshing floor. 

These mighty empires were suffered thus to overthrow 
the world, and destroy one another : and though their 
power was so great, yet they could not uphold them 
selves, but fell one after another, and came to nothing, 
even the last of them, that was the strongest, and had 
swallowed up the earth. It pleased God thus to show in 
them the instability and vanity of all earthly power and 
greatness ; which served as a foil to set forth the glory 
of the kingdom of his Son, which never shall be destroy 
ed, as appears by Dan. ii. 44. "In the days of these kings 
shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall 
never be destroj-ed : and the kingdom shall not be left 
to other people, but it shall break in pieces, and consume 
all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." So 
greatly does this kingdom differ from all those king 
doms : they vanish away, and are left to other people ; 
but this shall not be left to other people, but shall stand 
for ever. God suffered the devil to do his utmost, and 
to establish his interest, by setting up the greatest, strong 
est, and most glorious kingdoms in the world that he 
could, before the despised Jesus overthrew him and his 
empire. Christ came into the world to bring down the 
high things of Satan s kingdom, that the hand of the 
Lord might be on every one that is proud and lofty, and 
every high tower, and every lofty mountain ; as the pro 
phet Isaiah says, chap. ii. 12. &c. And therefore these 
things were suffered to rise very high, that Christ might 
appear so much the more glorious in being above them. 

Thus wonderfully did the great and wise Governor of 
the world prepare the way for the erecting of the glori 
ous kingdom of his beloved Son Jesus. 

3. Another thing for which this last period or space 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 131 

of time before Christ was particularly remarkable, was 
the wonderful preservation of the church through all 
those overturnings. The preservation of the church 
was on some accounts more remarkable through this pe 
riod, than through any of the foregoing. It was very 
wonderful that the church, which in this period was so 
weak, and in so low a state, and mostly subject to the 
dominion of heathen monarchies, should be preserved 
for five or six hundred years together, while the world 
was so often overturned, and the earth was rent in 
pieces, and made so often empty and waste, and the in 
habitants of it came down so often every one by the 
sword of his brother. I say it was wonderful that the 
church in its weak and low state, being but a little hand 
ful of rnen, should be preserved in all these great convul 
sions ; especially considering that the land of Judea, the 
chief place of the church s residence, lay in the midst of 
them, as it were in the middle between the contending 
parties, and was very much the seat of war amongst 
them, and was often overrun and subdued, and some 
times in the hands of one people, and sometimes another, 
and very much the object of the envy and hatred of all 
heathen nations, and often almost ruined by them, often 
great multidues of its inhabitants being slain, and the 
land in a great measure depopulated; and those who 
had them in their power, often intended the utter de 
struction of the whole nation. Yet they were upheld ; 
they were preserved in their captivity in Babylon, and 
they were upheld again under all the dangers they pass 
ed through, under the kings of Persia, and the much 
greater dangers they were liable to under the empire of 
the Greeks, and afterwards when the world was trodden 
down by the Romans. 

And their preservation through this period was also 
distinguishingly remarkable, in that we never read of 
the church s suffering persecution in any former period 
in any measure to such a degree as they did in this, un 
der Antiochus Epiphanes, of which more afterwards. 
This wonderful preservation of the church through all 
these overturnings of the world, gives light and confir 
mation to what we read in the beginning of the 46th 
Psalm: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present 
help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the 
earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried 
into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar, 



132 A HISTORY OF THE 

and be troubled; though the mountains shake with the 
swelling thereof." 

Thus I have taken notice of some general things 
wherein this last period of the Old Testament times was 
distinguished. I come now to consider how the work 
of redemption was carried on in particulars. And, 

I. The first tiling that here offers is the captivity of 
the Jews into Babylon. This was a great dispensation 
of Providence, and such as never was beibre. The 
children of Israel in the time of the judges, had often 
been brought under their enemies ; and many particular 
persons were carried captive at other times. But never 
had there been any such thing as destroying the whole 
land, the sanctuary, and the city of Jerusalem, and all 
the cities and villages of the land, and carrying the 
whole body of the people out of their own land into a 
country many hundred miles distant, and leaving the 
land of Canaan empty of God s visible people. The ark 
had once forsaken the tabernacle of Shiloh, and was car 
ried captive into the land of the Philistines: but never 
had there been any such thing as the burning the sanc 
tuary, and utterly destroying the ark, and carrying 
away all the sacred vessels and utensils, and breaking 
up all their stated worship in the land, and the land s 
lying waste and empty for so many years together. 
How lively are those things set forth in the Lamenta 
tions of Jeremiah ! 

The work of redemption was promoted by this re 
markable dispensation in these following ways. 

1. It finally cured that nation of their itch after idol 
atry. The Prophet Isaiah, speaking of the setting up of 
the kingdom of Christ, chap. ii. 18. speaks of the abolish 
ing idolatry as one thing that should be done to this end : 
" and the idols he shall utterly abolish." When the time 
was drawing near, that God would abolish heathen idol 
atry, through the greater part of the known world, as he 
did by the preaching of the gospel after Christ came, it 
pleased him first to abolish heathenism among his own 
people ; and he did it now by their captivity into Baby 
lon ; a presage of that abolishing of idols, that God was 
about to bring to pass by Christ through so great a part 
of the heathen world. 

This nation that was addicted to idolatry before for so 
many ages, and that nothing would cure them of; not all 
the reproofs, and warnings, and corrections, that they 
had, and all the judgments God inflicted on them for it ; 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 133 

yet now were finally cured: so that however some 
might fall into this sin afterwards, as they, did about the 
time of Antiochus s persecution, yet the nation, as a na 
tion, never shewed any hankering after this sin any 
more. This was a remarkable and wonderful change in 
that people, and what directly promoted the work of re 
demption, as it was a great advancement of the interest 
of religion. 

2. It was one thing that prepared the way for Christ s 
coming, and setting up the glorious dispensation of the 
gospel, as it took away many of those things wherein 
consisted the glory of the Jewish dispensation. In order 
to introduce the glorious dispensation of the gospel, the 
external glory of the Jewish church must be diminished, 
as we observed before. This the Babylonish captivity 
did many ways ; it brought the people very low. 

First, it removed the temporal diadem of the house of 
David away from them, i. e. the supreme and indepen 
dent government of themselves. It took away the crown 
and diadem from the nation. The time now approach 
ing when Christ, the great and everlasting* king of his 
church, was to reign, it was time for the typical kings to 
withdraw. As God said by Ezekiel, chap. xxi. 26. " He 
removed the crown and diadem, that it might be no 
more, until he should come, whose right it was." The 
Jews henceforward were always dependent on the gov 
erning power of other nations, until Christ came, for 
near six hundred years, excepting about ninety years, 
during which space they maintained a sort of indepen 
dence, by continual wars under the dominion of the 
Maccabees and their posterity. 

Again, by the captivity, the glory and magnificence 
of the temple was taken away, and the temple that was 
built afterwards, was nothing in comparison with it. 
Thus it was meet, that when the time drew nigh that the 
glorious antitype of the temple should appear, the typi 
cal temple should have its glory withdrawn. 

Again, another thing that they lost by the captivity, 
was the two tables of the testimony delivered to Moses, 
written with the finger of God; the two tables on which 
God with his own finger wrote the ten commandments 
on Mount Sinai. These seem to have been preserved 
in the ark until the captivity. These were in the ark 
when Solomon placed the ark in the temple, 1 Kings viii. 
9. There was nothing in the ark, save the two tables 
of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb. And we have 
13 



134 A HISTORY OF THE 

no reason to suppose any other, but that they remained 
there as long as that temple stood. But the Jews speak 
of these as finally lost at that time; though the same 
commandments were preserved in the book of the law. 
These tables also were withdrawn on the approach of 
their antitype. 

Again, another thing that was lost that the Jews had 
before, was the Urim and Thummim. This is evident 
by Ezra ii. 63. " And the Tirshatha said unto them, that 
they should not eat of the most holy things, until there 
should stand up a priest with Urim and Thummim." 
And we have no account that this was ever restored ; 
but the ancient writings of the Jews say the contrary. 
What this Urim and Thummim was, I shall not now in 
quire; but only observe, that it was something by which 
the high priest inquired of God, and received immediate 
answers from him, or by which God gave forth immedi 
ate oracles on particular occasions. This was now with 
drawn, the time approaching when Christ, the antitype 
of the Urim and Thummim, the great word and oracle 
of God, was to come. 

Another thing that the ancient Jews say was wanting 
in the second temple, was the Shechinah, or cloud of 
glory over the mercy seat. This was promised to be in 
the tabernacle: Lev. xvi. 2. "For I will appear in the 
cloud upon the mercy seat." And we read elsewhere 
of the cloud of glory descending into the tabernacle, 
Exod. xl. 35. and so we do likewise with respect to So 
lomon s temple. But we have no account that this cloud 
of glory was in the second temple. And the ancient ac 
counts of the Jews say, that there was no such thing in 
the second temple. This was needless in the second 
temple, considering that God had promised that he would 
fill this temple with glory another way, viz. by Christ s 
coming into it ; which was afterwards fulfilled. See Hag- 
gai ii. 7. "I will shake all nations, and the desire of all 
nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, 
saith the Lord of hosts." 

Another thing, that the Jews, in their ancient writings 
mention as being now withdrawn, was the fire from 
heaven on the altar. When Moses built the tabernacle 
and altar in the wilderness, and the first sacrifices were 
offered on it, fire came down from heaven, and consum 
ed the burnt offering, as in Lev. ix. 24. and so again, 
when Solomon built the temple, and offered the first sa 
crifices, as you may see in 2 Chron. vii. 1. And this fire 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 135 

was never to go out, but with the greatest care to be 
kept alive, as God commanded, Lev. vi. 13. "The fire 
shall ever be burning upon the altar: it shall never go 
out." And there is no reason to suppose the fire in So 
lomon s time ever went out until the temple was destroy 
ed by the Babylonians. But then it was extinguished, 
and never was restored. We have no account of its be 
ing given on the building of the second temple, as we 
have at the building of the tabernacle and first temple 
But the Jews, after their return, were forced to make us* 
of their common fire instead of it, according to the an 
cient tradition of the Jews. Thus the lights of the Ola 
Testament go out on the approach of the glorious Sun 
of righteousness. 

3. The captivity into Babylon was the occasion of an 
other thing which did afterwards much promote the set 
ting up of Christ s kingdom in the world, and that was 
the dispersion of the Jews through the greater part of 
the known world, before the coming of Christ. For the 
whole nation being carried away far out of their own 
land, and continuing in a state of captivity for so long a 
time, they got them possessions, and built them houses, 
and settled themselves in the land of their captivity, 
agreeable to the direction that Jeremiah gave them, in 
the letter he wrote to them in the 29th chapter of Jere 
miah. And therefore, when Cyrus gave them liberty to 
return to the land where they had formerly dwelt, many 
of them never returned; they were not willing to leave 
their settlements and possessions there, to go into a de 
solate country, many hundred miles distant, which none 
but the old men among them had ever seen ; and there 
fore they were but few, but a small number, that return 
ed, as we see in the accounts we have in the books of 
Ezra and Nehemiah. Great numbers tarried behind, 
though they still retained the same religion with those 
that returned, so far as it could be practised in a foreign 
land. Those messengers that we read of in the 7th 
chapter of Zechariah, that came to inquire of the priests 
and prophets in Jerusalem, Sherezer and Regemmelech, 
are supposed to be messengers sent from the Jews that 
remained still in Babylon. 

Those Jews that remained still in that country were 
soon, by the great changes that happened in the world, 
dispersed thence into all the adjacent countries. And 
hence we find, that in Esther s time, which was after 
the return from the captivity, the Jews were a people 



136 A HISTORY OF THE 

that were dispersed throughout all parts of the vast Per 
sian empire, that extended from India to Ethiopia; as 
3 ou may see, Esth. iii. 8. "And Haman said unto King 
Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad, 
and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of 
thy kingdom," &c. And so they continued dispersed 
until Christ came, and until the apostles went forth to 
preach the gospel. But yet these dispersed Jews retain 
ed their religion in this dispersion. Their captivity, as I 
said before, thoroughly cured them of their idolatry ; and 
it was their manner, for as many of them as could from 
time to time, to go up to the land of Judea to Jerusalem 
at their great feasts. Hence we read in the 2d chapter 
of Acts, that at the time of the great feast of Pentecost, 
there were Jews abiding at Jerusalem out of every na 
tion under heaven. These were Jews come up from all 
countries where they were dispersed, to worship at that 
feast. And hence we find, in the history of the Acts of 
the Apostles, that wherever the apostles went preaching 
through the world, they found Jews. They came to 
such a city, and to such a city, and went into the syna 
gogue of the Jews. 

Antiochus the Great, about two hundred years before 
Christ, on a certain occasion, transplanted two thousand 
families of Jews from the country about Babylon into 
Asia the Less ; and so they and their posterity, many of 
them, settled in Pontus, Galatia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, and 
in Ephesus; and from thence settled in Athens, and 
Corinth, and Rome. Whence came those synagogues 
in those places that the Apostle Paul preached in. 

Now, this dispersion of the Jews through the world 
before Christ came, did many ways prepare the way for 
his coming, and setting up his kingdom in the world. 

One was, that this was a means of raising a general 
expectation of the Messiah through the world about the 
time that he actually came. For the Jews, wherever 
they were dispersed, carried the holy scriptures with 
them, and so the prophecies of the Messiah ; and being 
conversant with the nations among whom they lived, 
they, by that means, became acquainted with these pro 
phecies, and with the expectations of the Jews of their 
glorious Messiah ; and by this means, the birth of such 
a glorious person in Judea about that time began to be 
the general expectation of the nations of the world, as 
appears by the writings of the learned men of the hea 
then that lived about that time, which are still extant ; 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 137 

particularly Virgil, the famous poet that lived in Italy a 
little before Christ was born, has a poem about the ex 
pectation of a great prince that was to be born, and the 
happy times of righteousness and peace that he was to 
introduce ; some of it very much in the language of the 
prophet Isaiah. 

Another way that this dispersed state of the Jews pre 
pared the way for Christ was, that it showed the neces 
sity of abolishing the Jewish dispensation, and introduc 
ing a new dispensation of the covenant of grace. It 
showed the necessity of abolishing the ceremonial law, 
and the old Jewish worship : for, by this means, the ob 
servance of that ceremonial law became impracticable 
even by the Jews themselves: for the ceremonial law 
was adapted to the state of a people dwelling together 
in the same land, where was the city that God had 
chosen ; where was the temple, the only place where 
they might offer sacrifices ; and where it was lawful for 
their priests and Levites to officiate, where they were to 
bring their first fruits, and where were their cities of re 
fuge and the like. But the Jews, by this dispersion, lived, 
many of them, in other lands, more than a thousand 
miles distant, when Christ came; which made the obser 
vance of their laws of sacrifices, and the like, impracti 
cable. And though their forefathers might be to blame 
in not going up to the land of Judea when they were 
permitted by Cyrus, yet the case was now, as to many 
of them at least, become impracticable ; which showed 
the necessity of introducing a new dispensation, that 
should be fitted, not only to one particular land, but to 
the general circumstances and use of all nations of the 
world. 

Again, another way that this dispersion of the Jews 
through the world prepared the way for the setting up 
of the kingdom of Christ in the world, was, that it con 
tributed to the making the facts concerning Jesus Christ 
publicly known through the world. For, as I observed 
before, the Jews that lived in other countries, used fre 
quently to go up to Jerusalem at their three great feasts, 
which were from year to year; and so, by this means, 
they could not but become acquainted with the news of 
the wonderful things that Christ did in that land. We 
find that they were present at, and took great notice of, 
that great miracle of raising Lazarus, which excited the 
curiosity of those foreign Jews that came up to the feast 
of the Passover to see Jesus ; as you may see in John 
12* 



138 A HISTORY OF THE 

xii. 19,20, 21. These Greeks were foreign Jews and 
proselytes, as is evident by their coming to worship at 
the feast of the Passover. The Jews that lived abroad 
among the Greeks, and spoke their language, were call 
ed Greeks, or Hellenists : so they are called Grecians, 
Acts vi. 1. These Grecians here spoken of were not 
Gentile Christians ; for this was before the calling of the 
Gentiles. 

By the same means, the Jews that went up from other 
countries became acquainted with Christ s crucifixion. 
Thus the disciples, going to Emmaus, say to Christ, 
when they did not know him, Luke xxiv. 18. "Art thou 
only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the 
things which have come to pass there in these days]" 
plainly intimating, that the things concerning Jesus were 
so publicly known to all men, that it was wonderful to 
find any man unacquainted with them. And so after 
wards they became acquainted with the news of his re 
surrection ; and when they went home again into their 
own countries, they carried the news with them, and so 
made these facts public through the world, as they had 
made the prophecies of them public before. 

After this, those foreign Jews that came, to Jerusalem, 
took great notice of the pouring out of the Spirit at Pen 
tecost, and the wonderful effects of it ; and many of them 
were converted by it, viz. Parthians, Medes, Elamites, 
and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Egypt, and the 
parts of Libya about Cyrene, and the strangers of Rome, 
Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians. And so 
they did not only carry back the news of the facts of 
Christianity, but Christianity itself, into their own coun 
tries with them ; which contributed much to the spread 
ing of it through the world. 

Again, another way that the dispersion of the Jews 
contributed to the setting up of the gospel kingdom in the 
world was, that it opened a door for the introduction of the 
apostles in all places where they came to preach the gos 
pel. For almost in all places where they came to preach 
the gospel, they found Jews and synagogues of the Jews, 
where the holy scriptures were wont to be read, and 
the true God worshipped ; which was a great advantage 
to the apostles in their spreading the gospel through the 
world. For their way was, into whatever city they 
came, first to go into the synagogue of the Jews, (they 
being people of the same nation,) and there to preach 
the gospel unto them. And hereby their coming, and 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 139 

their new doctrine, was taken notice of by their Gentile 
neighbours, whose curiosity excited them to hear what 
they had to say ; which became a fair occasion to the 
apostles to preach the gospel to them. It appears that it 
was thus, by the account we have of things in the Acts 
of the Apostles. And these Gentiles having been before, 
many of them, prepared in some measure, by the know 
ledge they had of the Jews religion, and of their wor 
ship of one God, and of their prophecies, and expecta 
tion of a Messiah ; which knowledge they derived from 
the Jews, who had long been their neighbours; this 
opened the door for the gospel to have access to them. 
And the work of the apostles with them was doubtless 
much easier than if they never had heard any thing be 
fore of any expectation of such a person as the apostles 
preached, or any thing about the worship of one only 
true God. 

So many ways did the Babylonish captivity greatly 
prepare the way for Christ s coming. 

II. The next particular that I would take notice of is, 
the addition made to the canon of scripture in the time 
of the captivity, in those two remarkable portions of 
scripture, the prophecies of Ezekiel and Daniel. Christ 
appeared to each of these prophets in the form of that 
nature which he was afterwards to take upon him. The 
prophet Ezekiel gives an account of his thus appearing 
to him repeatedly, as Ezek. i. 26. " And above the firma 
ment that was over their heads, was the likeness of a 
throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone, and up 
on the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the ap 
pearance of a man above upon it;" and so chap. viii. 1, 
2. So Christ appeared to the prophet Daniel: Dan. viii. 
15, 16. "There stood before me as the appearance of a 
man. And I heard a man s voice between the banks of 
Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to 
understand the vision." There are several things that 
make it evident, that this was Christ, that I cannot now 
stand to mention particularly. So Christ appeared 
again as a man to this prophet, chap. x. 5, 6. " Then I 
lift up mine eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man 
clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold 
of Uphaz : his body also was like the beryl, and his face 
as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of 
fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished 
brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a mul 
titude." Comparing this vision with that of the Apostle 



140 A HISTORY OF THE 

John in the 1st chapter of Revelation, makes it manifest 
that it was Christ. And the prophet Daniel, in the histori 
cal part of his book, gives an account of a very remark 
able appearance of Christ in Nebuchadnezzar s furnace, 
with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. We have the 
account of it in the 3d chapter. In the 25th verse, Christ is 
said to be like the Son of God ; and it is manifest that he ap 
peared in the form of man: "lo, I see four men loose, and 
the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." 

Christ did not only here appear in the form of the 
human nature, but he appeared in a furnace, saving 
those persons who believed on him from that furnace ; 
by which is represented to us, how Christ, by coming 
himself into the furnace of God s wrath, saves those that 
believe in him from that furnace, so that it has no pow 
er on them ; and the wrath of God never reaches or 
touches them, so much as to singe the hair of their head. 

These two prophets, in many respects, were more par 
ticular concerning the coming of Christ, and his glorious 
gospel kingdom, than any oflthe prophets had been be 
fore. They both of them mention those three great 
overturnings of the world that should be before he came. 
Ezekiel is particular in several places concerning the 
coming of Christ. The prophet Daniel is more particu 
lar in foretelling the time of the coming of Christ than 
ever any prophet had been before, in the 9th chapter of 
his prophecy ; who foretold, that it should be seventy 
weeks, i. e. seventy weeks of years, or seventy times 
seven years, or four hundred and ninety years, from the 
decree to rebuild and restore the state of the Jews, until 
the Messiah should be crucified ; which must be reckon 
ed from the commission given to Ezra by Artaxerxes, 
that we have an account of in the 7th chapter of Ezra ; 
whereby the very particular time of Christ s crucifixion 
was pointed out, which never had been before. 

The prophet Ezekiel is very particular in the mystical 
description of the gospel church, in his account of his 
vision of the temple and city, in the latter part of his 
prophecy. The Prophet Daniel points out the order of 
particular events that should come to pass relating to 
the Christian church after Christ was come, as the rise 
of Antichrist, and the continuance of his reign, and his 
fall, and the glory that should follow. 

Thus does gospel light still increase, the nearer we 
come to the time of Christ s birth. 

HI. The next particular I would mention is, the de- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 141 

struction of Babylon, and the overthrow of the Chaldean 
empire by Cyrus. The destruction of Babylon was in 
that night in which Belshazzar the king, and the city in 
general, was drowned in a drunken festival, which they 
kept to their gods, when Daniel was called to read the 
hand writing on the wall, Dan. v. 30. and it was brought 
about in such a manner, as wonderfully to show the 
hand of God, and remarkably to fulfil his word by his 
prophets, which I cannot now stand particularly to re 
late. Now that great city, which had long been an 
enemy to the city of God, his Jerusalem, was destroyed, 
after it had stood ever since the first building of Babel, 
which was about seventeen hundred years. If the check 
that was put to the building this city at its beginning, 
whereby they were prevented from carrying of it to that 
extent and magnificence that they intended ; I say, if 
this promoted the work of redemption, as I have before 
shown it did, much more did this destruction of it. 

It was a remarkable instance of God s vengeance on 
the enemies of his redeemed church ; for God brought 
this destruction on Babylon for the injuries they did to 
God s children, as is often set forth in the prophets. It 
also promoted the work of redemption, as thereby God s 
people, that were held captive by them, were set at lib 
erty to return to their own land to rebuild Jerusalem ; 
and therefore Cyrus, who did it, is called God s shepherd 
therein, Isa. xliv. latter end; and xlv. 1. And these are 
over and above those ways wherein the setting up and 
overthrowing the four monarchies of the world did pro 
mote the work of redemption, which have been before 
observed. 

IV. What next followed this was, the return of the 
Jews to their own land, and rebuilding Jerusalem and 
the temple. Cyrus, as soon as he had destroyed the Ba 
bylonish empire, and had erected the Persian empire on 
its ruins, made a decree in favour of the Jews, that they 
might return to their own land, and rebuild their city 
and temple. This return of the Jews out of the Baby 
lonish captivity is, next to the redemption out of Egypt, 
the most remarkable of all the Old Testament redemp 
tions, and most insisted on in scripture, as a type of the 
great redemption of Jesus Christ. It was under the 
hand of one of the legal ancestors of Christ, viz. Xeruo- 
babel, the son of Shealtiel, whose Babylonish name was 
Sheshbazzar. He was the governor of the Jews, and 
their leader in their first return out of captivity ; and, 



142 A HISTORY OF THE 

together with Joshua the son of Jozedek the high priest, 
had the chief hand in rebuilding the temple. This re 
demption was brought about by the hand of Zerubbabel 
and Joshua the priest, as the redemption out of Egypt 
was brought about by the hand of Moses and Aaron. 

The return out of the captivity was a remarkable dis 
pensation of Providence. It was remarkable, that the 
heart of a heathen prince, as Cyrus was, should be so in 
clined to favour such a design as he did, not only in giv 
ing the people liberty to return, and rebuild the city and 
temple, but in giving charge that they should be helped 
with silver and gold, and with goods, and with beasts, 
as we read in Ezra i. 4. And afterwards God wonder 
fully inclined the heart of Darius to further the building 
of the house of God with his own tribute money, and by 
commanding their bitter enemies, the Samaritans, who 
had been striving to hinder them, to help them without 
fail, by furnishing them with all that they needed in or 
der to it, and to supply them day by day ; making a de 
cree, that whosoever failed of it, timber should be pulled 
down out of his house, and he hanged thereon, and his 
house made a dunghill; as we have an account in the 
6th chapter of Ezra. And after this God inclined the 
heart of Artaxerxes, another king of Persia, to promote 
the work of preserving the state of the Jews, by his 
ample commission to Ezra, which we have an account 
of in the 7th chapter of Ezra; helping them abundantly 
with silver and gold of his own bounty, and offering 
more, as should be needful, out of the King s treasure 
house, and commanding his treasurers beyond the river 
Euphrates to give more, as should be needed, unto an 
hundred talents of silver, and an hundred measures of 
wheat, an hundred baths of wine, and an hundred baths 
of oil, and salt without prescribing how much ; and giv 
ing leave to establish magistrates in the land ; and free 
ing the priests of toll, tribute, and custom, and other 
things, which render this decree and commission by Ar 
taxerxes the most full and ample in the Jews favour of 
any that, at any time, had been given for the restoring 
of Jerusalem: and therefore, in Daniel s prophecy, this is 
called the decree for restoring and building Jerusalem ; 
and hence the seventy weeks are dated. 

And then, after this, another favourable commission 
was granted by the king of Persia to Nehemiah, which 
we have an account of in the 2d chapter of Nehemiah. 

It was remarkable, that the hearts of heathen princes 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 143 

should be so inclined. It was the effect of his power, 
who hath the hearts of kings in his hands, and turn^tn 
them whithersoever he will ; and it was a remarkable 
instance of his favour to his people. 

Another remarkable circumstance of this restitution 
of the state of the Jews to their own land was, thaf it 
was accomplished against so much opposition of their 
bitter and indefatigable enemies the Samaritans, who, 
for a Jong time together, with all the malice and craft 
tl^ey could exercise, opposed the Jews in this affair, and 
sought their destruction ; one while by Bishlam, Mithri- 
dath, Tabeel, Rehum, and Shimshai, as in Ezra iv. and 
then by Tatnai, Shetharboznai, and their companions, 
as in chap. v. and afterwards by Sanballat and Tobiah, 
as we read in the book of Nehemiah. 

We have shewed before how the settlement of the peo 
ple in this land in Joshua s time promoted the work of 
redemption. On the same accounts does their restitu 
tion belong to the same work. The resettlement of the 
Jews in the land of Canaan belongs to this work, as it 
was a necessary means of preserving the Jewish church 
and dispensation in being, until Christ should come. If 
it had not been for this restoration of the Jewish church, 
and temple, and worship, the people had remained with 
out any temple, and land of their own, that should be as 
it were their head quarters, a place of worship, habita 
tion, and resort ; the whole constitution, which God had 
done so much to establish, would have been in danger 
of utterly failing, long before that six hundred had been 
out, which was from about the time of the captivity un 
til Christ. And so all that preparation which God had 
been making for the coming of Christ, from the time of 
Abraham, would have been in vain. Now that very 
temple was built that God would fill with glory by 
Christ s coming into it, as the Prophets Haggai and 
Zechariah told the Jews, to encourage them in build 
ing it. 

V. The next particular I would observe, is the addi 
tion made to the canon of the scriptures soon after the 
captivity by the Prophets Haggai and Zechariah, who 
were prophets sent to encourage the people in their work 
of rebuilding the city and temple; and the main argu 
ment they make use of to that end. is the approach of 
the time of the coming of Christ. Haggai foretold that 
Christ should be of Zerubbabel s legal posterity, last 
chapter last verse. This seems to be the last and most 



144 A HISTORY OF THE 

particular revelation of the descent of Christ, until the 
angel Gabriel was sent to reveal it to his mother Mary. 

The next thing I would take notice of, was the 
pouring out of the Spirit of God that accompanied the 
ministry of Ezra the priest after the captivity. That 
there was such a pouring out of the Spirit of God that 
accompanied Ezra s ministry, is manifest by many things 
in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Presently after 
Ezra came up from Babylon, with the ample commis 
sion which Artaxerxes gave him, whence Daniel s se 
venty weeks began, he set himself to reform the vices 
and corruptions he found among the Jews; and his 
great success in it we have an account of in the 10th 
chapter of Ezra ; so that there appeared a very general 
and great mourning of the congregation of Israel for 
their sins, which was accompanied with a solemn cove 
nant that the people entered into with God ; and this 
was followed with a great and general reformation, as 
we have there an account. And the people about the 
same time, with great zeal, and earnestness, and rever 
ence, gathered themselves together to hear the word of 
God read by Ezra; and gave diligent attention, while 
Ezra and the other priests preached to them, by reading 
and expounding the law, and were greatly affected in 
the hearing of it. They wept when they heard the 
words of the law, and set themselves to observe the law, 
and kept the feast of tabernacles, as the scripture ob 
serves, after such a manner as it had not been kept since 
the days of Joshua the son of Nun ; as we have an ac 
count in the 8th chapter of Nehemiah : and after this, 
having separated themselves from all strangers, they 
solemnly observed a fast, by hearing the word of God, 
confessing their sins, and renewing their covenant with 
God ; and manifested their sincerity in that transaction, 
by actually reforming many abuses in religion and 
morals ; as we learn from the 9th and following chapters 
of Nehemiah. 

It is observable, that it has been God s manner in 
every remarkable new establishment of the state of his 
visible church, to give a remarkable outpouring of his 
Spirit. So it was on the first establishment of the church 
of the Jews at their first coming into Canaan under 
Joshua, as has been observed ; and so it was now in this 
second settlement of the church in the same land in the 
time of Ezra; and so it was on the first establishment of 
f he Christian church after Christ s resurrection ; God wise- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 145 

ly and graciously laying the foundation of those establish 
ments in a work of his Holy Spirit, for the lasting benefit 
of the state of his church, thenceforward continued in those 
establishments. And this pouring out of the Spirit of God, 
was a final cure of that nation of that particular sin which 
just before they especially run into, viz. intermarrying 
with the Gentiles: for however inclined to it they were 
before, they ever after shewed an aversion to it. 

VIL Ezra added to the canon of the scriptures. He 
wrote the book of Ezra ; and he is supposed to have 
written the two books of Chronicles, at least to have com 
piled them, if he was not the author of the materials, or 
all the parts of these writings. That these books were 
written, or compiled and completed, after the captivity, 
the things contained in the books themselves make man 
ifest ; for the genealogies contained therein, are brought 
down below the captivity; as 1 Chron. iii. 17. &c. We 
have there an account of the posterity of Jehoiachin for 
several successive generations. And there is mention 
in these books of this captivity into Babylon, as of a thing 
past, and of things that were done on the return of the 
Jews after the captivity ; as you may see in the 9th chap 
ter of 1 Chron. The chapter is mostly filled up with an 
account of things that came to pass after the captivity 
into Babylon, as you may see by comparing it with what 
is said in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. And that 
Ezra was the person that compiled these books, is prob 
able by this, because they conclude with words that we 
know are the words of Ezra s history. The two last 
verses are Ezra s words in the history he gives in the 
two first verses of the book of Ezra. 

VIII. Ezra is supposed to have collected all the books 
of which the holy scriptures did then consist, and dis 
posed them in their proper order. Ezra is often spoken 
of as a noted and eminent scribe of the law of God, and 
the canon of scripture in his time was manifestly under 
his special care ; and the Jews, from the first accounts 
we have from them, have always held, that the canon of 
scripture, so much of it as was then extant, was collect 
ed, and orderly disposed and settled by Ezra ; and that 
from him they have delivered it down in the order in 
which he disposed it, until Christ s time; when the 
Christian church received it from them, and have deliv 
ered it down to our times. And the truth of this is al 
lowed as undoubted by divines in general. 

IX. The work of redemption was carried on and pro* 

13 



146 A HISTORY OF THE 

nioted in this period, by greatly multiplying the copies 
of the law, and appointing the constant public reading 
of them in all the cities of Israel in their synagogues. It 
is evident, that before the captivity, there were but few- 
copies of the Jaw. There was the original, laid up be 
side the ark ; and the kings were required to write out 
a copy of the law for their use, and the law was required 
to be read to the whole congregation oflsrael once every 
seventh year. And we have no account of any other 
stated public reading of the law before the captivity but 
this. And it is manifest by several things that might be 
mentioned, that copies of the law were exceeding rare 
before the captivity. But after the captivity, the con 
stant reading of the law was set up in every synagogue 
throughout the land. First, they began with reading 
the law, and then they proceeded to establish the con 
stant reading of the other books of the Old Testament. 
And lessons were read out of the Old Testament, as 
made up of both the law and the other parts of the scrip 
ture then extant, in all the synagogues which were set 
up in every city, and every where, wherever the Jews 
in any considerable number dwelt, as our meeting 
houses are. Thus we find it was in Christ s and the 
apostles time, Acts xv. 21. "Moses of old time hath in 
every city them that preach him, being read in the syn 
agogues every Sabbath day." This custom is univer 
sally supposed, both by Jews and Christians, to be be 
gun by Ezra. There were doubtless public assemblies 
before the captivity into Babylon. They used to as 
semble at the temple at their great feasts, and were di 
rected, when they were at a loss about any thing in the 
law, to go to the priest for instruction : and they used 
also to resort to the prophets houses: and we read of 
synagogues in the land before, Ps. Ixxiv. 8. But it is 
not supposed that they had copies of the law for constant 
public reading and expounding through the land before, 
as afterwards. This was one great means of their being 
preserved from idolatry. 

X. The next thing I would mention, is God s remark 
ably preserving the church and nation of the Jews, when 
they were in imminent danger of being universally de 
stroyed by Haman. We have the story in the book of 
Esther, with which you are acquainted. The series of 
providences was very wonderful in preventing this de 
struction. Esther was doubtless born for this end to be 
the instrument of this remarkable preservation. 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 147 

XL After this the canon of scripture was further added 
to in the books of Nehemiah and Esther; the one by Nehe- 
miah himself; and whether the other was written by Ne 
hemiah or Mordecai, or Malachi, is not of importance for 
us to know, so long as it is one of those books that were 
always admitted and received as a part of their canon by 
the Jews, and was among those books that the Jews 
called their scriptures in Christ s time, and as such was 
approved by him. For Christ does often in his speeches 
to the Jews, manifestly approve and confirm those books, 
which amongst them went by the name of the scriptures, 
as might be easily shown, if there were time for it. 

XII. After this the canon of the Old Testament was 
completed and sealed by Malachi. The manner of his 
concluding his prophecy seems to imply, that they were 
to expect no more prophecies, and no more written re 
velations from God, until Christ should come. For in 
the last chapter he prophesies of Christ s coming; ver. 2, 

3. * But unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of 
Righteousness arise with healing in his wings ; and ye 
shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall. And 
ye shall tread down the wicked ; for they shall be as 
ashes under the soles of your feet, in the day that I shall 
do this, saith the Lord of hosts." Then we read in ver. 

4. " Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which 
I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the 
statutes and judgments," i. e. Remember and improve 
what ye have ; keep close to that written rule you have, 
as expecting no more additions to it, until the night of 
the Old Testament is over, and the Sun of Righteous 
ness shall at length arise. 

XIII. Soon after this, the spirit of prophecy ceased 
among that people until the time of the New Testament. 
Thus the Old Testament light, the stars of the long night, 
began apace to hide their heads, the time of the Sun of 
Righteousness now drawing nigh. We before observed, 
how the kings of the house of David ceased before the 
true King and Head of the church came ; and how the 
cloud of glory withdrew, before Christ, the brightness of 
the Father s glory, appeared ; and so as to several other 
things. And now at last the spirit of prophecy ceased. 
The time of the great Prophet of God was now so nigh, 
it was time for the typical prophets to be silent, and shut 
their mouths. 

We have now gone through with the time that we 
have any historical account of in the writings of the Old 



148 A HISTORY OF THE 

Testament, and the last thing that was mentioned, by 
which the work of redemption was promoted, was the 
ceasing of the spirit of prophecy. 

I now proceed to show how the work of redemption 
was carried on through the remaining times that were be 
fore Christ : in which we have not thdt thread of scrip 
ture history to guide us that we have had hitherto ; but 
have these three things to guide us, viz. the prophecies 
of the Old Testament, human histories of those times, 
and some occasional mention made, and some evidence 
given, of some things which happened in those times, in 
the New Testament. Therefore, 

XIV. The next particular that I shall mention under 
this period, is the destruction of the Persian empire, and 
setting up of the Grecian empire by Alexander. This 
came to pass about sixty or seventy years after the times 
wherein the Prophet Malachi is supposed to have pro 
phesied, and about three hundred and thirty years be 
fore Christ. This was the third overturning of the world 
that came to pass in this period, and was greater and 
more remarkable than either of the foregoing. It was 
very remarkable on account of the suddenness of that 
conquest of the world which Alexander made, and the 
greatness of the empire which he set up, which much ex 
ceeded all the foregoing in its extent. 

This event is much spoken of in the prophecies of 
Daniel. This empire is represented by the third king 
dom of brass in Daniel s interpretation of Nebuchadnez 
zar s dream, as in Dan. ii. and in Daniel s vision of the 
four beasts, is represented by the third beast that was 
like a leopard, that had on his back four wings of a fowl, 
to represent the swiftness of its conquest, chap. vii. and 
is more particularly represented by the he-goat in the 
8th chapter, that came from the west on the face of the 
whole earth, and touched not the ground, to represent 
how swiftly Alexander overran the world. The angel 
himself does expressly interpret this he-goat to signify 
the king of Grecia, ver. 21. The rough goat is the king 
of Grecia; and the great horn that is between his eyes 
is the first king, i. e. Alexander himself. 

After Alexander had conquered the world, he soon 
died ; and his dominion did not descend to his posterity, 
but four of his principal captains divided his empire be 
tween them, as it there follows. Now that being bro 
ken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall 
stand up out of the nation, but not in his power; so you 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 149 

may see in the llth chapter of Daniel. The angel, after 
foretelling of the Persian empire, then proceeds to foretel 
of Alexander, ver. 3. "And a mighty king shall stand 
up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do accord 
ing to his will." And then he foretels, in the 4th verse, 
of the dividing of his kingdom between his four captains: 
" And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be bro 
ken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of hea 
ven ; and not to his posterity, nor according to his do 
minion which he ruled : for his kingdom shall be plucked 
up, even for others besides those." Two of these four 
captains, whose kingdoms were next to Judea, the one 
had Egypt and the neighbouring countries on the south 
of Judea, and the other had Syria, and the neighbouring 
countries north of Judea ; and these two are those that 
are called the kings of the north and of the south in the 
llth chapter of Daniel. 

Now, this setting up of the Grecian empire did greatly 
prepare the way for Christ s coming, and setting up his 
kingdom in the world. Besides those ways common to 
the other overturnings of the world in this period, that 
have been already mentioned, there is one peculiar to 
this revolution which I would take notice of, which did 
remarkably promote the work of redemption ; and that 
was, that it made the Greek language common in the 
world. To have one common language understood and 
used through the greater part of the world, was a thing 
that did greatly prepare the way for the setting up of 
Christ s kingdom. This gave advantage for spreading 
the gospel from one nation to another, and so through 
all nations, with vastly greater ease, than if every nation 
had a distinct language, and did not understand each 
other. For though some of the first preachers of the 
gospel had the gift of languages, so that they could 
preach in any language ; yet all had not this particular 
gift ; and they that had, could not exercise it when they 
would, but only at special seasons, when the Spirit of 
God was pleased to inspire them in this way. And the 
church in different parts of the world, as the churches 
of Jerusalem, Antioch, Galatia, Corinth, and others, 
which were in countries distant one from another, could 
not have had that communication one with another, 
which we have an account of in the book of Acts, if they 
had had no common language. So it was before the 
Grecian empire was set up. But after this, many in all 
these countries well understood the same language, viz. 
13* 



150 A HISTORY OF THE 

the Greek language ; which wonderfully opened the doo; 
for mutual communication between those churches, so 
far separated one from another. And again, the making 
the Greek language common through so great a part of 
the world, did wonderfully make way for the setting up 
of the kingdom of Christ, because it was the language in 
which the New Testament was to be originally written. 
The apostles propagated the gospel through many scores 
of nations; and if they coulcT not have understood the 
Bible any otherwise than as it was translated into so 
many languages, it would have rendered the spreading 
of the gospel vastly more difficult. But by the Greek 
language being made common to all, they all understood 
the New Testament of Jesus Christ in the language in 
which the apostles and evangelists originally wrote it : 
so that as soon as ever it was written by its original 
penmen, it immediately lay open to the world in a lan 
guage that was commonly understood every where, as 
there was no language that was so commonly under 
stood in the world in Christ s and the apostles times as 
the Greek ; the cause of which was the setting up of the 
Grecian empire in the world. 

XV. The next thing I shall take notice of is, the trans 
lating of the scriptures of the Old Testament into a lan 
guage that was commonly understood by the Gentiles. 
The translation that I here speak of is that into the Greek 
language, that is commonly called the Septuagint, or the 
translation of the Seventy. This is supposed to have 
been made about fifty or sixty years after Alexander s 
conquering the world. This is the first translation that 
ever was made of the scriptures that we have any credi 
ble account of. The canon of the Old Testament had 
been completed by the prophet Malachi but about an 
hundred and twenty years before in its original; and 
hitherto the scriptures had remained locked up from all 
other nations but the Jews, in the Hebrew tongue, which 
was understood by no other nation. But now it was 
translated into the Greek language, which, as we ob 
served before, was a language that was commonly un 
derstood by the nations oYthe world. 

This translation of the Old Testament is still extant, 
and is commonly in the hands of the learned men in 
these days, and is made great use of by them. The 
Jews have many fables about the occasion and manner 
of this translation ; but the truth of the case is supposed 
to be this, that multitudes of the Jews living in other 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 151 

parts of the world besides Judea, and being born and 
bred among the Greeks, the Greek became their common 
language, and they did not understand the original He 
brew; and therefore they procured the scriptures to be 
translated for their use into the Greek language; and so 
henceforward the Jews, in all countries, except Judea, 
were wont in their synagogues to make use of this trans 
lation instead of the Hebrew. 

This translation of the scriptures into a language com 
monly understood through the world, prepared the way 
for Christ s coming, and setting up his kingdom in the 
world, and afterwards did greatly promote it. For as 
the apostles went preaching through the world, they 
made great use of the scriptures of the Old Testament, 
and especially of the prophecies concerning Christ that 
were contained in them. And by means of this transla 
tion, and by the Jews being scattered every where, they 
had the scriptures at hand in a language that was un 
derstood by the Gentiles: and they did principally make 
use of this translation in their preaching and writings 
wherever they went ; as is evident by this, that in all the 
innumerable quotations that are made out of the Old 
Testament in their writings in the New Testament, they 
are almost every where in the very words of the Septua- 
gint. The sense is the same as it is in the original He 
brew ; but very often the words are different, as all that 
are acquainted with their Bibles know. When the apos 
tles in their epistles, and the evangelists in their histo 
ries, cite passages out of the Old Testament, it is very 
often in different words from what we have in the Old 
Testament, as all know. But yet these citations are al 
most universally in the very words of the Septuagint 
version ; for that may be seen by comparing them to 
gether, they being both written in the same language. 
This makes it evident, that the apostles, in their preach 
ing and writings, commonly made use of this transla 
tion. So this very translation was that which was prin 
cipally used in Christian churches through most nations 
of the world for several hundred years after Christ. 

XVI. The next thing is the wonderful preservation of 
the church when it was imminently threatened and per 
secuted under the Grecian empire. 

The first time they were threatened was by Alexander 
himself. When he was besieging the city of Tyre, send 
ing to the Jews for assistance and supplies for his army, 
and they refusing, out of a conscientious regard to their 



152 A HISTORY OF THE 

oath to the king of Persia, he being a man of a very furi 
ous spirit, agreeable to the scripture representation of 
the rough he goat, marched against them, with a design 
to cut them off. But the priests going out to meet him 
in their priestly garments, when he met them, God won 
derfully turned his heart to spare them, and favour 
them, much as he did the heart of Esau when he met 
Jacob. 

After this, one of the kings of Egypt, a successor of 
one of Alexander s four captains, entertained a design 
of destroying the nation of the Jews ; but was remark 
ably and wonderfully prevented by a stronger interposi 
tion of Heaven for their preservation. 

But the most wonderful preservation of them all in 
this period was under the cruel persecution of Antiochus 
Epiphanes, king of Syria, and successor of another of 
Alexander s four captains. The Jews were at that time 
subject to the power of Antiochus; and he being enraged 
against them, long strove to his utmost utterly to de 
stroy them, and root them out ; at least all of them that 
would not forsake their religion and worship his idols : 
and he did indeed in a great measure waste the country, 
and depopulate the city of Jerusalem ; and profaned the 
temple, by setting up his idols in some parts of it ; and 
persecuted the people with insatiable cruelty ; so that 
we have no account of any persecution like his before. 
Many of the particular circumstances of this persecution 
would be very affecting, if I had time to insist on them. 
This cruel persecution began about an hundred and 
seventy years before Christ. It is much spoken of in 
the prophecy of Daniel, as you may see, Dan. viii. 9 25. 
& xi. 31 38. These persecutions are also spoken of in. 
the New Testament, as, Heb. xi. 36, 37, 38. 

Antiochus intended not only to extirpate the Jewish 
religion, but, as far as in him lay, the very nation ; and 
particularly laboured to the utmost to destroy all copies 
of the law. And considering how weak they were, in 
comparison with a king of such vast dominion, the pro 
vidence of God appears very wonderful in defeating his 
design. Many times the Jews seemed to be on the very 
brink of ruin, and just ready to be wholly swallowed 
up : their enemies often thought themselves sure of ob 
taining their purpose. They once came against the peo 
ple with a mighty army, and with a design of killing all, 
except the women and children, and of selling these for 
slaves ; and they were so confident of obtaining their 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 153 

purpose, and others of purchasing, that above a thousand 
merchants came with the army, with money in their 
hands, to buy the slaves that should be sold. But God 
wonderfully stirred up and assisted one Judas, and 
others his successors, that were called the Maccabees, 
who, with a small handful in comparison, vanquished 
their enemies time after time, and delivered their nation ; 
which was foretold by Daniel, xi. 32. Speaking of An- 
tiochus s persecution, he says, " And such as do wicked 
ly against the covenant, shall he corrupt by flatteries : 
but the people that do know their God, shall be strong, 
and do exploits." 

God afterwards brought this Antiochus to a fearful, 
miserable end, by a loathsome disease, under dreadful 
torments of body, and horrors of mind; which was fore 
told, Dan. xi. 45. in these words, " Yet he shall come to 
his end, and none shall help him. 

After his death, there were attempts still to destroy 
the church of God ; but God baffled them all. 

XVII. The next thing to be taken notice of is the de 
struction of the Grecian empire, and setting up of the 
Roman empire. This was the fourth overturning of the 
world that was in this period. And though it was 
brought to pass more gradually than the setting up of 
the Grecian empire, yet it far exceeded that, and was 
much the greatest and largest temporal monarchy that 
ever was in the world ; so that the Roman empire was 
commonly called all the world ; as it is in Luke ii. 1. 
"And there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, 
that all the world should be taxed ;" i. e. all the Roman 
empire. 

This empire is spoken of as much the strongest and 
greatest of any of the four: Dan. ii. 40. "And the fourth 
kingdom shall be strong as iron ; forasmuch as iron 
breaketh in pieces, and subdueth all things : and as iron 
that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and 
bruise." So also, Dan. vii. 7. 19. 23. 

The time that the Romans first conquered and brought 
under the land of Judea, was between sixty and seventy 
years before Christ was born. And soon after this, the 
Roman empire was established in its greatest exten* , 
and the world continued subject to this empire hencefor 
ward until Christ came, and many hundred years after 
wards. 

The nations of the world being united in one mon 
archy when Christ came, and when the apostles went 



154 A HISTORY OP THE 

forth to preach the gospel, did greatly prepare the way 
for the spreading of the gospel, and the setting up of 
Christ s kingdom in the world. For the world being 
thus subject to one government, it opened a communi 
cation from nation to nation, and so opportunity was 
given for the more swiftly propagating the gospel through 
the world. Thus we find it to be now : as if any thing 
prevails in the English nation, the communication is 
quick from one part of the nation to another, throughout 
all parts that are subject to the English government, 
much easier and quicker than to other nations, which 
are not subject to the English government, and have 
little to do with them. There are innumerable difficul 
ties in travelling through different nations, that are un 
der different independent governments, which there are 
not in travelling through different parts of the same 
realm, or different dominions of the same prince. So 
the world being under one government, the government 
of the Romans, in Christ s and the apostles times, facili 
tated the apostles travelling, and the gospel s spreading 
through the world. 

XVIII. About the same time learning and philosophy 
were risen to their greatest height in the heathen world. 
The time of learning s flourishing in the heathen world 
was principally in this period. Almost all the famous 
philosophers that we have an account of among the hea 
then, were after the captivity into Babylon. Almost all 
the wise men of Greece and Rome flourished in this 
time. These philosophers, many of them, were indeed 
men of great temporal wisdom ; and that which they in 
general chiefly professed to make their business, was to 
inquire wherein man s chief happiness lay, and the way 
in which men might obtain happiness. They seemed 
earnestly to busy themselves in this inquiry, and wrote 
multitudes of books about it, many of which are still ex 
tant. And they were exceedingly divided in their opin 
ions about it. There have been reckoned up several 
hundreds of different opinions that they had concerning 
it. Thus they wearied themselves in vain, wandered in 
the dark, not having the glorious gospel to guide them. 
God was pleased to suffer men to do the utmost that they 
could with human wisdom, and to try the extent of their 
own understandings to find out the way to happiness, 
before the true light came to enlighten the world ; before 
he sent the great Prophet to lead men in the right way 
to happiness. God suffered these great philosophers to 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 155 

try what they could do for six hundred years together; 
and then it proved, by the events of so long a time, that 
all they could do was in vain; the world not becoming 
wiser, better, or happier under their instructions, but 
growing more and more foolish, wicked, and miserable. 
He suffered their wisdom and philosophy to come to the 
greatest height before Christ came, that it might be seen 
how far reason and philosophy could go in their highest 
ascent, that the necessity of a divine teacher might ap 
pear before Christ came. And God was pleased to make 
foolish the wisdom of this world, to shew men the folly 
Of their best wisdom, by the doctrines of his glorious 
gospel which were above the reach of all their philoso 
phy. See 1 Cor. i. 19, 20, 21. 

And after God had showed the vanity of human learn 
ing, when set up in the room of the gospel, God was 
pleased to make it subservient to the purposes of Christ s 
kingdom, as an handmaid to divine revelation ; and so 
the prevailing of learning in the world before Christ 
came, made way for his coming both these ways, viz. as 
thereby the vanity of human wisdom was shown, and 
the necessity of the gospel appeared ; and also as here 
by an handmaid was prepared to the gospel ; for so it 
was made use of in the Apostle Paul, who was famed for 
his much learning, as you may see, Acts xxvi. 24. and 
was skilled not only in the learning of the Jews, but also 
of the philosophers; and improved it to the purposes of 
the gospel ; as you may see he did in disputing with the 
philosophers at Athens, Acts xvii. 22. &c. He by his 
learning knew how to accommodate himself in his dis 
courses to learned men, as appears by this discourse 
of his; and he knew well how to improve what he 
had read in their writings; and he here cites their 
own poets. And now Dionysius, that was a philoso 
pher, was converted by him, and, as ecclesiastical his 
tory gives us an account, made a great instrument of 
promoting the gospel. And there were many others in 
that and the following ages, who were eminently useful 
by their human learning in promoting the interests of 
Christ s kingdom. 

XIX. Just before Christ was born, the Roman empire 
was raised to its greatest height, and also settled in 
peace. About four and twenty years before Christ was 
born, Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor, began 
to rule as emperor of the world. Until then the Roman 
empire had of a long time been a commonwealth under 



156 A HISTORY OF THE 

the government of the senate : but then it became an 
absolute monarchy. This Augustus Caesar, as he was 
the first, so he was the greatest of all the Roman empe 
rors : he reigned in the greatest glory. Thus the power 
of the heathen world, which was Satan s visible king 
dom, was raised to its greatest height, after it had been 
rising higher and higher, and strengthening itself more 
and more from the days of Solomon to this day, which 
was about a thousand years. Now it appeared at a 
greater height than ever it appeared from the first be 
ginning of Satan s heathenish kingdom, which was prob 
ably about the time of the building of Babel. Now the 
heathen world was in its greatest glory for strength, 
wealth, and learning. 

God did two things to prepare the way for Christ s 
coming, wherein he took a contrary method from that 
which human wisdom would have taken. He brought 
his own visible people very low, and made them weak ; 
but the heathen, that were his enemies, he exalted to the 
greatest height, for the more glorious triumph of the 
cross of Christ. With a small number in their greatest 
weakness, he conquered his enemies in their greatest 
glory. Thus Christ triumphed over principalities and 
powers in his cross. 

Augustus Caesar had been for many years establish 
ing the state of the Roman empire, subduing his ene 
mies in one part and another, until the very year that 
Christ was born ; when all his enemies being subdued, 
his dominion over the world seemed to be settled in 
its greatest glory. All was established in peace; in 
token whereof the Romans shut the temple of Janus, 
which was an established symbol among them of there 
being universal peace throughout the Roman empire. 
And this universal peace, which was begun that year that 
Christ was born, lasted twelve years, until the year that 
Christ disputed with doctors in the temple. 

Thus the world, after it had been, as it were, in a con 
tinual convulsion for so many hundred years together, 
like the four winds striving together on the tumultuous 
raging ocean, whence arose those four great monar 
chies, being now established in the greatest height of the 
fourth and last monarchy, and settled in quietness ; now 
all things are ready for the birth of Christ. This re 
markable universal peace after so many ages of tumult 
and war, was a fit prelude for the ushering of the glori 
ous Pi ince of Peace into the world. 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 157 

Thus I have gone through the first grand period of 
the whole space between the fall of man and the end of 
the world, viz. that from the fall to the time of the incar 
nation of Christ ; and have shown the truth of the first 
proposition, viz. That from the fall of man to the incar 
nation of Christ, God was doing those things that were 
preparatory to Christ s coming, and were forerunners 
of it. 



IMPROVEMENT. 

BEFORE I proceed to the next proposition, I would make 
some few remarks, by way of improvement, upon what 
has been said under this. 

I. From what has been said, we may strongly argue, 
that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed the Son of God, and 
the Saviour of the world ; and so that the Christian re 
ligion is the true religion, seeing that Christ is the very 
person so evidently pointed at, in all the great dispensa 
tions of divine providence from the very fall of man, and 
was so undoubtedly in so many instances foretold from 
age to age, and shadowed forth in a vast variety of 
types and figures. If we seriously consider the course 
of things from the beginning, and observe the motions 
of all the great wheels of providence from one age to 
another, we shall discern that they all tend hither. 
They are all as so many lines, whose course, if it be ob 
served and accurately followed, it will be found that 
every one centres here. It is so very plain in many 
things, that it would argue stupidity to deny it. This 
therefore is undeniable, that this person is a divine per 
son sent from God, that came into the world with his 
commission and authority, to do his work and to de 
clare his mind. The great Governor of the world, in all 
his great works before and since the flood, to Jews and 
Gentiles, down to the time of Christ s birth, has declared 
it. It cannot be any vain imagination, but a plain and 
evident truth, that that person that was born at Bethle 
hem, and dwelt at Nazareth, and at Capernaum, and 
was crucified without the gates of Jerusalem, must be 
the great Messiah, or anointed of God. And blessed are 
all they that believe in and confess him, and miserable 
are all that deny him. This shows the unreasonable 
ness of the Deists, who deny revealed religion, and of 



158 A HISTORY "OF THE 

the Jews, who deny that this Jesus is the Messiah fore 
told and promised to their fathers. 

Here it may be some persons may be ready to object, 
and say, That it may be, some subtle, cunning men con 
trived this history, and these prophecies, so that they 
should all point to Jesus Christ on purpose to confirm it, 
that he is the Messiah. To such it may be replied, How 
could such a thing be contrived by cunning men to point 
to Jesus Christ, long before he ever was born ? How 
could they know that ever any such person would be 
born ] And how could their craft and subtilty help them 
to foresee and point at an event that was to come to pass 
many ages afterwards! for no fact can be more evident, 
than that the Jews had those writings long before Christ 
was born ; as they have them still in great veneration, 
wherever they are, in all their dispersions through the 
world ; and they would never have received such a con 
trivance from Christians, to point to and confirm Jesus 
to be the Messiah, whom they always denied to be the Mes 
siah ; and much less would they have been made to be 
lieve that they always had had those books in their 
hands, when they were first made and imposed upon 
them. 

II. What has been said, affords a strong argument for 
the divine authority of the books of the Old Testament, 
from that admirable harmony there is in them, whereby 
they all point to the same thing. For we may see by 
what has been said, how all the parts of the Old Testa 
ment, though written by so many different penmen, and 
in ages distant one from another, do all harmonize one 
with another ; all agree in one, and all centre in the 
same thing, and that a future thing; an event which it 
was impossible any one of them should know but by di 
vine revelation, even the future coming of Christ. This 
is most evident and manifest in them, as appears by 
what has been said. 

Now, if the Old Testament was not inspired by God, 
what account can be given of such an agreement 7 For 
if these books were only human writings, written with 
out any divine direction, then none of these penmen 
knew that there would come such a person as Jesus 
Christ into the world ; his coming was only a mere fig 
ment of their own brain : and if so, how happened it, 
that this figment of theirs came to pass? How came a 
vain imagination of theirs, which they foretold without 
any manner of ground for their prediction, to be so ex- 



WORK OF. REDEMPTION. 159 

actly fulfilled? and especially, h.ow did they come all to 
agree in it, all pointing exactly to the same thing, though 
many of them lived so many hundred years distant one 
from another ] 

This admirable consent and agreement in a future 
event, is therefore a clear and certain evidence of the di 
vine authority of those writings. 

III. Hence we may learn what a weak and ignorant 
objection it is that some make against some parts of the 
Old Testament s being the word of God, that they con 
sist so much of histories of the wars and civil transac 
tions of the kings and people of the nation of the Jews. 
Some say, We find here among the books of a particu 
lar nation, histories which they kept of the state of their 
nation, from one age to another; histories of their kings 
and rulers, histories of their wars with the neighbouring 
nations, and histories of the changes that happened from 
time to time in their state and government : and so we 
find that other nations used to keep histories of their 
public affairs, as well as they ; and, why then should 
we think that these histories which the Jews kept are 
the word of God, more than those of other people 1 But 
what has been said, shows the folly and vanity of such 
an objection. For hereby it appears, that the case of 
these histories is very different from that of all other his 
tories. This history alone gives us an account of the 
first original of all things; and this history alone de 
duces things down in a wonderful series from that ori 
ginal, giving an idea of the grand scheme of divine pro 
vidence, as tending to its great end. And together with 
the doctrines and prophecies contained in it, the same 
book gives a view of the whole series of the great events 
of divine providence, from the first original to the last 
end and consummation of all things, giving an excellent 
and glorious account of the wise and holy designs of the 
Governor of the world in all. 

No common history has such penmen as this history, 
which was all written by men who came with evident 
signs and testimonies of their being prophets of the most 
high God, immediately inspired. 

And the histories that were written, as we have seen 
from what has been said under this proposition, do all 
contain those great events of providence, by which it 
appears how God has been carrying on the glorious di 
vine work of redemption from age to age. Though they 
are histories, yet they are no less full of divine instruc- 



160 A HISTORY OP THE 

tion, and those things that show forth Christ, and his 
glorious gospel, than other parts of the holy scriptures 
which are not historical. 

To object against a book s being divine, merely be 
cause it is historical, is a poor objection; just as if that 
could not be the word of God which gives an account of 
what is past ; or as though it were not reasonable to 
suppose, that God, in a revelation he should give man 
kind, would give us any relation of the dispensations of 
his own providence. If it be so, it must be because his 
works are not worthy to be related ; it must be because 
the scheme of his government, and series of his dispensa 
tions towards his church, and towards the world that he 
has made, whereby he has ordered and disposed it from 
age to age, is not worthy that any record should be kept 
of it. 

The objection that is made, that it is a common thing 
for nations and kingdoms to write histories and keep re 
cords of their wars, and the revolutions that come to 
pass in their territories, is so far from being a weighty 
objection against the historical part of scripture, as 
though it were not the word of God, that it is a strong 
argument in favour of it. For if reason and the light of 
nature teaches all civilized nations to keep records of 
the events of their human government, and the series of 
their administrations, and to publish histories for the in 
formation of others; how much more may we expect 
that God would give the world a record of the dispensa 
tions of his divine government, which doubtless is infi 
nitely more worthy of an history for our information ? 
If wise kings have taken care that there should be good 
histories written of the nations over which they have 
reigned, shall we think it incredible, that Jesus Christ 
should take care that his church, which is his nation, his 
peculiar people, should have in their hands a certain in 
fallible history of their nation, and of his government of 
them 1 

If it had not been for the history of the Old Testament, 
how wofully should we have been left in the dark about 
many things which the church of God needs to know ! 
How ignorant should we have been of God s dealings 
towards mankind, and towards his church, from the be 
ginning! and we would have been wholly in the dark 
about the creation of the world, the fall of man, the first 
rise and continued progress of the dispensations of grace 
towards fallen mankind! and we should have known 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 161 

nothing how God at first set up a church in the world, 
and how it was preserved ; after what manner he gov 
erned it from the beginning; how the light of the gospel 
first began to dawn in the world; how it increased, and 
how things were preparing for the coming of Christ. 

If we are Christians, we belong to that building of God 
that has been the subject of our discourse from this text: 
but if it had not been for the history of the Old Testa 
ment, we should never have known what was the first 
occasion of God s going about this building, and how the 
foundation of it was laid at first, and how it has gone on 
from the beginning. The times of the history of the Old 
Testament are mostly times that no other history reaches 
up to ; and therefore, if God had not taken care to give 
and preserve an account of these things for us, we should 
have been wholly without them. 

Those that object against the authority of the Old Tes 
tament history of the nation of the Jews, may as well 
make an objection against Moses s account of the crea 
tion that it is historical ; for, in the other, we have a 
history of a work no less important, viz. the work of re 
demption. Yea, this is a far greater and more glorious 
work, as we observed before ; that if it be inquired 
which of the two works, the work of creation, or the 
work of providence, is greatest ; it must be answered, 
the work of providence ; but the work of redemption is 
the greatest of the works of providence. 

And let those who make this objection consider what 
part of the Old Testament history can be spared without 
making a great breach in that thread or series of events 
by which this glorious work had been carried on. This 
leads me to observe, 

IV. That, from what has been said, we may see much 
of the wisdom of God in the composition of the scrip 
tures of the Old Testament, i. e. in the parts of which 
it consists. By what has been said, we may see that 
God hath wisely given us such revelations in the Old 
Testament as we needed. Let us briefly take a view 
of the several parts of it, and of the need there was of 
them. 

Thus it was necessary that we should have some ac 
count of the creation of the world, and of our first pa 
rents, and their primitive state, and of the fall, and a 
brief account of the old world, and of the degeneracy 
of it, and of the universal deluge, and some account of 
the origin of nations after this destruction of mankind. 
14* 



162 A HISTORY OP THE 

It seems necessary that there should be some account 
of the succession of the church of God from the begin 
ning : and seeing God suffered all the world to degener 
ate, and only took one nation to be his people, to pre 
serve the true worship and religion until the Saviour of 
the world should come, that in them the world might 
gradually be prepared for that great light, and those 
wonderful things that he was to be the author of, and 
that they might be a typical nation, and that in them 
God might shadow forth and teach, as under a veil, all 
future glorious things of the gospel ; it was therefore ne 
cessary that we should have some account of this thing, 
how it was first done by the calling of Abraham, and by 
their being bond-slaves in Egypt, and how they were 
brought to Canaan. It was "necessary that we should 
have some account of the revelation which God made of 
himself to that people, in giving their law, and in the ap 
pointment of their typical worship, and those things 
wherein the gospel is veiled, and of the forming of that 
people, both as to their civil and ecclesiastical state. 

It seems exceeding necessary that we should have 
some account of their being actually brought to Canaan, 
the country that was their promised land, and where 
they always dwelt. It seems very necessary that we 
should have a history of the successions of the church 
of Israel, and of those providences of God towards them, 
which were most considerable and fullest of gospel mys 
tery. It seems necessary that we should have some ac 
count of the highest promised external glory of that na 
tion under David and Solomon, and that we should have 
a very particular account of David, whose history is so 
full of the gospel, and so necessary in order to introduce 
the gospel into the world, and in whom began the race 
of their kings ; and that we should have some account 
of the building of the temple, which was also full of gos 
pel mystery. 

And it is a matter of great consequence, that we should 
have some account of Israel s dividing from Judah, and 
of the ten tribes captivity and utter rejection, and a brief 
account why, and therefore a brief history of them until 
that time. It is necessary that we should have an ac 
count of the succession of the kings of Judah, and of the 
church, until their captivity into Babylon ; and that we 
should have some account of their return from their cap 
tivity, and re-settlement in their own land, and of the 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 163 

origin of the last state that the church was in before 
Christ came. 

A little consideration will convince every one, that all 
these things were necessary, and that none of them 
could be spared ; and in the general, that it was neces 
sary that we should have a history of God s church un 
til such times as are within the reach of human histo 
ries ; and it was of vast importance that we should have 
an inspired history of those times of the Jewish church, 
wherein there was kept up a more extraordinary inter 
course between God and them, and while he used to 
dwell among them as it were visibly, revealing himself 
by the Shechina, by Urim and Thummim, and by pro 
phecy, and so more immediately to order their affairs. 
And it was necessary that we should have some account 
of the great dispensations of God in prophecy, which 
were to be after the finishing of inspired history ; and so 
it was exceeding suitable and needful that there should 
be a number of prophets raised who should foretel the 
coming of the Son of God, and the nature and glory of 
his kingdom, to be as so many harbingers to make way 
for him, and that their prophecies should remain in the 
church. 

It was also a matter of great consequence that the 
church should have a book of divine songs given by in 
spiration from God, wherein there should be a lively re 
presentation of the true spirit of devotion, of faith, hope, 
and divine love, joy, resignation, humility, obedience, re 
pentance, &c., and also that we should have from God 
such books of moral instructions as we have in Proverbs 
and Ecclesiastes, relating to the affairs and state of man 
kind, and the concerns of human life, containing rules of 
true wisdom and prudence for our conduct in all circum 
stances; and that we should have particularly a song 
representing the great love between Christ and his spouse 
the church, particularly adapted to the disposition and 
holy affections of a true Christian soul towards Christ, 
and representing his grace and marvellous love to, and 
delight in, his people; as we have in Solomon s Song; 
and especially that we should have a book to teach us 
how to conduct ourselves under affliction, seeing the 
church of God here is in a militant state, and God s peo 
ple do through much tribulation enter into the kingdom 
of heaven ; and the church is for so long a time under 
trouble, and meets with such exceedingly fiery trials, 
and extreme sufferings, before her time of peace and 



164 A HISTORY OF THE 

rest in the latter ages of the world shall come : there 
fore God has given us a book most proper in these cir 
cumstances, even the book of Job, written upon occa 
sion of the afflictions of a particular saint, and was pro 
bably at first given to the church in Egypt under her af 
flictions there : and is made use of by the Apostle to 
comfort Christians under persecutions, James v. 11. "Ye 
have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the 
end of the Lord ; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of ten 
der mercy." God was also pleased, in this book of Job, 
to give some view of the ancient divinity before the giv 
ing of the law. 

Thus, from this brief review, I think it appears, that 
every part of the scriptures of the Old Testament is very 
useful and necessary, and no part of it can be spared, 
without loss to the church. And therefore, as 1 said, the 
wisdom of God is conspicuous in ordering that the scrip 
tures of the Old Testament should consist of those very 
books of which they do consist. 

Before I dismiss this particular, I would add, that it is 
very observable, that the history of the Old Testament 
is large and particular where the great affair of redemp 
tion required it ; as where there was most done towards 
this work, and most to typify Christ, and to prepare the 
way for him. Thus it is very large and particular in the 
history of Abraham and the other patriarchs ; but very 
short in the account we have of the time which the child 
ren of Israel spent in Egypt. So again it is large in the 
account of the redemption out of Egypt, and the first 
settling of the affairs of the Jewish church and nation in 
Moses and Joshua s time ; but much shorter in the ac 
count of the times of the judges. So again, it is large 
and particular in the account of David s and Solomon s 
times, and then very short in the history of the ensuing 
reigns. Thus the accounts are large or short, just as 
there is more or less of the affair of redemption to be seen 
in them. 

V. From what has been said, we may see, that Christ 
and his redemption are the great subjects of the whole 
Bible. Concerning the New Testament, the matter is 
plain ; and by what has been said on this subject hither 
to, it appears to be so also with respect to the Old Tes 
tament. Christ and his redemption is the great subject 
of the prophecies of the Old Testament, as has been 
shown. It has also been shown, that he is the great sub 
ject of the songs of the Old Testament ; and the moral 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 165 

rules and precepts are all given in subordination to him. 
And Christ and his redemption are also the great subject 
of the history of the Old Testament from the beginning- 
all along ; and even the history of the creation is brought 
in as an introduction to the history of redemption that 
immediately follows it. The whole book, both Old Tes 
tament and New, is filled up with the gospel ; only with 
this difference, that the Old Testament contains the gos 
pel under a veil, but the New contains it unveiled, so that 
we may see the glory of the Lord with open face. 

VI. By what has been said, we may see the usefulness 
and excellency of the Old Testament. Some are ready 
to look on the Old Testament as being, as it were, out 
of date, and as if we in these days of the gospel have but 
little to do with it; which is a very great mistake, aris 
ing from want of observing the nature and design of the 
Old Testament, which, if it were observed, would appear 
full of the gospel of Christ, and would in an excellent 
manner illustrate and confirm the glorious doctrines and 
promises of the New Testament. Those parts of the 
Old Testament which are commonly looked upon as con 
taining the least divine instruction, are as it were mines 
and treasures of gospel knowledge ; and the reason why 
they are thought to contain so little is, because persons 
do but superficially read them. The treasures which are 
hid underneath are not observed. They only look on 
the top of the ground, and so suddenly pass a judgment 
that there is nothing there. But they never dig into the 
mine : if they did, they would find it richly stored with 
silver and gold, and would be abundantly requited for 
their pains. 

What has been said, may show us what a precious 
treasure God has committed into our hands, in that he 
has given us the Bible. How little do most persons con 
sider how much they enjoy, in that they have the posses 
sion of that holy book the Bible, which they have in 
their hands, and may converse with it as they please. 
What an excellent book is this, and how far exceeding 
all human writings, that reveals God to us, and gives us 
a view of the grand design and glorious scheme of pro 
vidence from the beginning of the world, either in his 
tory or prophecy ; that reveals the great Redeemer and 
his glorious redemption, and the various steps by which 
God accomplishes it from the first foundation to the top 
stone ! Shall we prize a history which gives us a clear 
account of some great earthly prince, or mighty warrior, 



166 A HISTORY OF THE 

as of Alexander the Great, or Julius Caesar, or the Duke 
of Marl borough ] And, shall we not prize the history 
that God gives us of the glorious kingdom of his Son 
Jesus Christ, the Prince and Saviour, and of the wars 
and other great transactions of that King of kings, and 
Lord of armies, the Lord mighty in battle, the history 
of the things which he has wrought for the redemption 
of his chosen people] 

VII. What has been said, may make us sensible how 
much most persons are to blame for their inattentive, 
unobservant way of reading the scriptures. How much 
do the scriptures contain, if it were but observed? The 
Bible is the most comprehensive book in the world. But, 
what will all this signify to us, if we read it without ob 
serving what is the drift of the Holy Ghost in it] The 
Psalmist, Psa. cxix. 18. begs of God, "That he would 
enlighten his eyes, that he might behold wondrous things 
out of his law." The scriptures are full of wondrous 
things. Those histories which are commonly read as 
if they were only histories of the private concerns of 
such and such particular persons, such as the histories 
of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph, and the his 
tory of Ruth, and the histories of particular lawgivers 
and princes, as the history of Joshua and the Judges, 
and David, and the Israelitish princes, are accounts of 
vastly greater things, things of greater importance, and 
more extensive concernment, than they that read them 
are commonly aware of. 

The histories of scripture are commonly read as if they 
were stories written only to entertain men s fancies, and 
to while away their leisure hours, when the infinitely 
great things contained or pointed at in them are passed 
over and never taken notice of. Whatever treasures 
the scriptures contain, we shall be never the better for 
them if we do not observe them. He that has a Bible, 
and does not observe what is contained in it, is like a 
man who has a box full of silver and gold, and does not 
know it, does not observe that it is any thing more than 
a vessel filled with common stones. As long as it is thus 
with him, he will be never the better for his treasure: 
for he that knows not that he has a treasure, will never 
make use of what he has, and so might as well be with 
out it. He who has a plenty of the choicest food stored 
up in his house, and does not know it, will never taste 
what he has, and will be as likely to starve as if his 
house were empty. 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 167 

VIII. What has been said may show us how great a 
person Jesus Christ is, and how great an errand he came 
into the world upon, seeing there was so much done to 
prepare the way for his coming. God had been doing 
nothing else but prepare the way for his coming, and 
doing the work which he had to do in the world, through 
all ages of the world from the very beginning. If we 
had notice of a certain stranger s being about to come 
into a country, and should observe that a great prepa 
ration was made for his coming, that many months were 
taken up in it, and great things were done, many great 
alterations were made in the state of the whole country, 
and that many hands were employed, and persons of 
great note were engaged in making preparation for the 
coming of this person, and the whole country was over 
turned, and all the affairs and concerns of the country 
were ordered so as to be subservient to the design of 
entertaining that person when he should come ; it would 
be natural for us to think with ourselves, why, surely, 
this person is some extraordinary person indeed, and it 
is some very great business that he is coming upon. 

How great a person then must he be, for whose com 
ing into the world the great God of heaven and earth, 
and Governor of all things, spent four thousand years in 
preparing the way, going about it soon after the world 
was created, and from age to age doing great things, 
bringing mighty events to pass, accomplishing wonders 
without number, often overturning the world in order to 
it, and causing every thing in the state of mankind, and 
all revolutions and changes in the habitable world from 
generation to generation to be subservient to this great 
design ] Surely this must be some great and extraordi 
nary person indeed, and a great work indeed it must 
needs be that he is coming about. 

We read, Matt. xxi. 8, 9, 10, that when Christ was 
coming into Jerusalem, and the multitudes ran before 
him, and cut down branches of palm trees, and strewed 
them in the way, and others spread their garments in 
the way, and cried, " Hosannah to the son of David," 
that the whole city was moved, saying, Who is this? 
They wondered who that extraordinary person should 
be, that there should be such an ado made on the occa 
sion of his coming into the city, and to prepare the way 
before him. But if we consider what has been said on 
this subject, what great things were done in all ages to 
prepare the way for Christ s coming into the world, and 



168 A HISTORY OP THE 

how the world was often overturned to make way for it ; 
much more may we cry out. Who is this? What great 
person is this? and say, as in Psa. xxiv. 8, 10. " Who is 
this king of glory," that God should show such respect, 
and put such vast honour upon him! Surely this person 
is honourable indeed in God s eyes, and greatly beloved 
of him ; and surely it is a great errand upon which he is 
sent into the world. 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 169 



PEKIOD II. 



HAVING shown how the work of redemption was carried 
on through the first period, from the fall of man to the 
incarnation of Christ, I come now to the second period, 
viz. the time of Christ s humiliation, or the space from 
the incarnation of Christ to his resurrection. And this 
is the most remarkable article of time that ever was or 
ever will be. Though it was but between thirty and 
forty years, yet more was done in it than had been done 
from the beginning of the world to that time. We have 
observed, that all that had been done from the fall to the 
incarnation of Christ, was only preparatory for what 
was done now. And it may also be observed, that all 
that was done before the beginning of time, in the eter 
nal counsels of God, and that eternal transaction there 
was between the persons of the Trinity, chiefly respect 
ed this period. We therefore now proceed to consider 
the second proposition, viz. 

That during the time of Christ s humiliation, from his 
incarnation to his resurrection, the purchase of redemp 
tion was made. 

Though there were many things done in the affair of 
redemption from the fall of man to this time, though mil 
lions of sacrifices had been offered up; yet nothing was 
done to purchase redemption before Christ s incarna 
tion : no part of the purchase was made, no part of the 
price was offered until now. But as soon as Christ was 
incarnate, then the purchase began immediately without 
any delay. And the whole time of Christ s humiliation, 
from the morning that Christ began to be incarnate, un 
til the morning that he rose from the dead, was taken 
up in this purchase. And then the purchase was entirely 
and completely finished. As nothing was done before 
Christ s incarnation, so nothing was done after his res 
urrection, to purchase redemption for men. Nor will 
there ever be any thing more done to all eternity. But 
15 



170 A HISTORY OF THE 

that very moment that the human nature of Christ ceased 
to remain under the power of death, the utmost farthing 
was paid of the price of the salvation of every one of the 
elect. 

But for the more orderly and regular consideration 
of the great things done by our Redeemer to purchase 
redemption for us, 

1. I would speak of Christ s becoming incarnate to 
capacitate himself for this purchase; and, 

2. I would speak of the purchase itself. 



PART I. 

FIRST, I would consider Christ s coming into the world, 
or his taking upon him our nature to put himself in a 
capacity to purchase redemption for us. Christ became 
incarnate, or, which is the same thing, became man, to 
put himself in a capacity for working out our redemp 
tion : for though Christ, as God, was infinitely sufficient 
for the work, yet to his being in an immediate capacity 
for it, it was needful that he should not only be God, but 
man. If Christ had remained only in the divine nature, 
he would not have been in a capacity to have purchased 
our salvation ; not from any imperfection of the divine 
nature, but by reason of its absolute and infinite perfec 
tion : for Christ, merely as God, was not capable either 
of that obedience or suffering that was needful. The 
divine nature is not capable of suffering; for it is infi 
nitely above all suffering. Neither is it capable of obe 
dience to that law that was given to man. It is as im 
possible that one who is only God, should obey the law 
that was given to man, as it is that he should suffer 
man s punishment. 

And it was necessary not only that Christ should take 
upon him a created nature, but that he should take upon 
him our nature. It would not have sufficed for us for 
Christ to have become an angel, and to have obeyed and 
suffered in the angelic nature. But it was necessary 
that he should become a man, and that upon three ac 
counts. 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 171 

1. It was needful to answer the law, that that nature 
should obey the law, to which the law was given. Man s 
law could not be answered, but by being obeyed by 
man. God insisted upon it, that the law which he had 
given to man should be honoured and submitted to, and 
fulfilled by the nature of man, otherwise the law could 
not be answered for men. The words that were spoken, 
Thou shalt not eat thereof, Thou shalt, or Thou shalt 
not do thus or thus, were spoken to the race of man 
kind, to the human nature; and therefore the human 
nature must fulfil them. 

2. It was needful to answer the law that the nature 
that sinned should die. These words, " Thou shalt sure 
ly die," respect the human nature. The same nature to 
which the command was given, was the nature to which 
the threatening was directed. 

3. God saw meet, that the same world which was the 
stage of man s fall and ruin, should also be the stage of 
his redemption. We read often of his coming into the 
world to save sinners, and of God s sending him into the 
world for this purpose. It was needful that he should 
come into this sinful, miserable, undone world, to re 
store and save it. In order to man s recovery, it was 
needful that he should come down to man, to the world 
that was man s proper habitation, and that he should 
tabernacle with us : John i. 14. " The Word was made 
flesh, and dwelt among us." 

Concerning the incarnation of Christ, I would observe 
these following things. 

I. The incarnation itself; in which especially two 
things are to be considered, viz. 

1. His conception, which was in the womb of one of 
the race of mankind, whereby he became truly the Son 
of Man, as he was often called. He was one of the pos 
terity of Adam, and a child of Abraham, and a son of 
David, according to God s promise. But his conception 
was not in the way of ordinary generation, but by the 
power of the Holy Ghost. Christ was formed in the 
womb of the Virgin, of the substance of her body, by the 
power of the Spirit of God. So that he was the imme 
diate son of the woman, but not the immediate son of any 
male whatsoever ; and so was the seed of the woman, 
and the son of a virgin, one that had never known man. 

2. His birth. Though the conception of Christ was 
supernatural, yet after he was conceived, and so the in 
carnation of Christ begun, his human nature was gradu- 



172 A HISTORY OF THE 

ally perfected in the womb of the virgin, in a way of na 
tural progress ; and so his birth was in the way of na 
ture. But his conception being supernatural, by the 
power of the Holy Ghost, he was both conceived and 
born without sin. 

II. The second thing I would observe concerning the 
incarnation of Christ, is the fulness of the time in which 
it was accomplished. It was after things had been pre 
paring for it from the very first fall of mankind, and 
when all things were ready. It came to pass at a time, 
which in infinite wisdom was the most fit and proper: 
Gal. iv. 4. " But when the fulness of time was come, God 
sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the 
law." 

It was now the most proper time on every account. 
Any time before the flood would not have been so fit a 
time. For then the mischief and ruin that the fall 
brought on mankind, was not so fully seen. The curse 
did not so fully come on the earth before the flood, as it 
did afterwards: for though the ground was cursed in a 
great measure before, yet it pleased God that the curse 
should once, before the restoration by Christ, be execut 
ed in an universal destruction, as it were, of the very 
form of the earth, that the dire effects of the fall might 
once in such a way be seen before the recovery by 
Christ. Though mankind were mortal before the flood, yet 
their lives were the greater part of a thousand years in 
length, a kind of immortality in comparison with what 
the life of man is now. It pleased God, that that curse, 
" Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return," should 
have its full accomplishment, and be executed in its 
greatest degree on mankind, before the Redeemer came 
to purchase never ending life for man. 

It would not have been so fit a time for Christ to 
come, after the flood, before Moses s time: for until then 
mankind were not so universally apostatized from the 
true God ; they were not fallen universally into heathen 
ish darkness; and so the need of Christ, the light of the 
world, was not so evident : and the woful consequence 
of the fall with respect to man s mortality, was not so 
fully manifest until then ; for man s life was not so short 
ened as to be reduced to the present standard until 
about Moses s time. 

It was most fit that the time of the Messiah s coming 
should not be until many ages after Moses s time; until 
all nations, but the children of Israel, had lain long in 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 173 

heathenish darkness; that the remedilessness of their 
disease might by long experience be seen, and so the 
absolute necessity of the heavenly physician, before he 
came. 

Another reason why Christ did not come soon after 
the flood probably was, that the earth might be full of 
people, that Christ might have the more extensive king 
dom, and that the effects of his light, and power, and 
grace, might be glorified, and that his victory over Sa 
tan might be attended with the more glory in the multi 
tude of his conquests. It was also needful that the com 
ing of Christ should be many ages after Moses, that the 
church might be prepared which was formed by Moses 
for his coming, by the Messiah s being long prefigured, 
and by his being many ways foretold, and by his being 
long expected. It was not proper that Christ should 
conic before the Babylonish captivity, because Satan s 
kingdom was not then come to the height. The heathen 
world before that consisted of lesser kingdoms. But 
God saw meet that the Messiah should come in the time 
of one of the four great monarchies of the world. Nor 
was it proper that he should come in the time of the Ba 
bylonish monarchy; for it was God s will, that several 
general monarchies should follow one another, and that 
the coming of the Messiah should be in the time of the 
last, which appeared above them all. The Persian mon 
archy, by overcoming the Babylonian, appeared above 
it : and so the Grecian, by overcoming the Persian, ap 
peared above that; and for the same reason, the Roman 
above the Grecian. Now it was the will of God, that his 
Son should make his appearance in the world in the 
time of this greatest and strongest monarchy, which was 
Satan s visible kingdom in the world; that, by overcom 
ing this, he might visibly overcome Satan s kingdom in 
its greatest strength and glory, and so obtain the more 
complete triumph over Satan himself. 

It was not proper that Christ should come before the 
Babylonish captivity. For, before that, we have not his 
tories of the state of the heathen world, to give us an 
idea of the need of a Saviour. And besides, before that, 
learning did not much flourish, and so there had not 
been an opportunity to show the insufficiency of human 
learning and wisdom to reform and save mankind. 
Again, before that, the Jews were not dispersed over the 
world, as they were afterwards ; and so things were not 
prepared in this respect for the coming of Christ. The 
15* 



174 



A HISTORY OF THE 



necessity of abolishing the Jewish dispensation was not 
then so apparent as it was afterwards, by reason of the 
dispersion of the Jews ; neither was the way prepared 
for the propagation of the gospel, as it was afterwards, 
by the same dispersion. Many other things might be 
mentioned, by which it would appear, that no other time 
before that very time in which Christ did come, would 
have been proper for his appearing in the world to pur 
chase the redemption of men. 

III. The next thing that I would observe concerning 
the incarnation of Christ, is the greatness of this event. 
Christ s incarnation was a greater and more wonderful 
thing than ever had come to pass; and there has been 
but one that has ever come to pass which was greater, 
and that was the death of Christ, which was afterwards. 
But Christ s incarnation was a greater thing than had 
ever come to pass before. The creation of the world 
was a very great thing, but not so great a thing as the 
incarnation of Christ. It was a great thing for God to 
make the creature, but not so great as for God, as for the 
Creator himself, to become a creature. We have spoken 
of many great things that were accomplished from one 
age to another, in the ages between the fall of man and 
the incarnation of Christ : but God s becoming man was 
a greater thing than they all. When Christ "was born, 
the greatest person was born that ever was, or ever will 
be born. 

IV. What I would next observe concerning the incar 
nation of Christ, are the remarkable circumstances of it ; 
such as his being born of a poor virgin, that was a pious 
holy person, but poor, as appeared by her offering at her 
purification : Luke ii. 24. " And to offer a sacrifice ac 
cording to that which is said in the law of the Lord, a pair 
of turtle doves, or two young pigeons." Which refers 
to Lev. v. 7. " And if she be not able to bring a lamb, 
then she shall bring two turtle doves, or two young 
pigeons." And this poor virgin was espoused to an hus 
band who was a poor man. Though they were both of 
the royal family of David, the most honourable family, 
and Joseph was the rightful heir to the crown ; yet the 
family was reduced to a very low state; which is repre 
sented by the tabernacle of David s being fallen or bro 
ken down, Amos ix. 1 1. " In that day will I raise up the 
tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the 
breaches thereof, and I will raise up his ruins, and I will 
build it as in the days of old." 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 175 

He was born in the town of Bethlehem, as was fore 
told : and there was a very remarkable providence of 
God to bring about the fulfilment of this prophecy, the 
taxing of all the world by Augustus Caesar, as in Luke ii. 
He was born in a very low condition, even in a stable, 
and laid in a manger. 

V. I would observe the concomitants of this great 
event, or the remarkable events with which it was at 
tended. And, 

1. The first thing I would take notice of that attended 
the incarnation of Christ, was the return of the Spirit; 
which indeed began a little before the incarnation of 
Christ ; but yet was given on occasion of that, as it was 
to reveal either his birth, or the birth of his forerunner, 
John the Baptist. I have before observed how the spirit 
of prophecy ceased not long after the book of Malachi 
was written. From about the same time visions and im 
mediate revelations ceased also. But now, on this occa 
sion, they are granted anew, and the Spirit in these ope 
rations returns again. The first instance of its restora 
tion that we have any account of is in the vision of 
Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist ; which we 
read of in the first chapter of Luke. The next is in the 
vision which the Virgin Mary had, of which we read al 
so in the same chapter. The third is in the vision which 
Joseph had, of which we read in the first chapter of Mat 
thew. In the next place, the Spirit was given to Eliza 
beth, Luke i. 41. Next, it was given to Mary, as ap 
pears by her song, Luke i. 46, &c. Then to Zacharias 
again, ibid. ver. 64. Then it was sent to the shepherds, 
of which we have an account in Luke ii. 9. Then it was 
given to Simeon, Luke ii. 25. Then to Anna, ver. 36. 
Then to the wise men in the east. Then to Joseph again, 
directing him to flee into Egypt, and after that directing 
his return. 

2. The next concomitant of Christ s incarnation that 
I would observe is, the great notice that was taken of it 
in heaven, and on earth. How it was noticed by the 
glorious inhabitants of the heavenly world, appears by 
their joyful songs on this occasion, heard by the shep 
herds in the night. This was the greatest event of Provi 
dence that ever the angels had beheld. We read of their 
singing praises when they saw the formation of this lower 
world : Job xxxviii. 7. " When the morning stars sang 
together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." And 
as they sang praises then, so they do now, on this much 



176 A HISTOIiy OF THE 

greater occasion, of the birth of the Son of God, who is 
the Creator of the world. 

The glorious angels had all along expected this event. 
They had taken great notice of the prophecies and prom 
ises of these things all along : for we are told, that the 
angels desire to look into the affairs of redemption, 1 
Pet. i. 12. They had all along been the ministers of Christ 
in this affair of redemption, in all the several steps of it 
down from the very fall of man. So we read, that they 
were employed in God s dealings with Abraham, and in 
his dealings with Jacob, and in his dealings with the Is 
raelites from time to time. And doubtless they had long 
joyfully expected the coming of Christ ; but now they 
see it accomplished, and therefore greatly rejoice, and 
sing praises on this occasion. 

Notice was taken of it by some among the Jews ; as 
particularly by Elizabeth and the Virgin Mary before the 
birth of Christ ; not to say by John the Baptist before he 
was born, when he leaped in his mother s womb as it 
were for joy, at the voice of the salutation of Mary. But 
Elizabeth and Mary do most joyfully praise God togeth 
er, when they meet with Christ and his forerunner in 
their wombs, and the Holy Spirit in their souls. And af 
terwards what joyful notice is taken of this event by the 
shepherds, and by those holy persons Zacharias, and 
Simeon, and Anna! How do they praise God on this 
occasion ! Thus the church of God in heaven, and the 
church on earth, do as it were unite in their joy and 
praise on this occasion. 

Notice was taken of it by the Gentiles, which appears 
in the wise men of the east. Great part of the universe 
does as it were take a joyful notice of the incarnation 
of Christ. Heaven takes notice of it, and the inhabitants 
sing for joy. This lower world, the world of mankind, 
does also take notice of it in both parts of it, Jews and 
Gentiles. It pleased God to put honour on his Son, by 
wonderfully stirring up some of the wisest of the Gen 
tiles to come a long^ journey to see and worship the Son 
of God at his birth, being led by a miraculous star, signi 
fying the birth of that glorious person, who is the bright 
and morning star, going before, and leading them to the 
very place where the young child was. Some think they 
were instructed by the prophecy of Balaam, who dwelt 
in the eastern parts, and foretold Christ s coming as a 
star that should rise out of Jacob. Or they might be in 
structed by that general expectation there was of the 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 177 

Messiah s coming about that time, before spoken of, 
from the notice they had of it by the prophecies the Jews 
had of him in their dispersions in all parts of the world 
at that time. 

3. The next concomitant of the birth of Christ was 
his circumcision. But this may more properly be spoken 
of under another head, and so I will not insist upon it 
now. 

4. The next concomitant was his first coming into 
the second temple, which, was his being brought thither 
when an infant, on occasion of the purification of the 
blessed virgin. We read, Hag. ii. 7. " The desire of all 
nations shall come, and I will fill this house (or temple) 
with glory." And in Mai. iii. 1. "The Lord, whom ye 
seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the mes 
senger of the covenant." And now was the first instance 
of the fulfilment of these prophecies. 

5. The last concomitant I shall mention is the scep 
tre s departing from Judah in the death of Herod the 
Great. The sceptre had never totally departed from Ju 
dah until now. Judah s sceptre was greatly diminished 
in the revolt of the ten tribes in Jeroboam s time; and 
the sceptre departed from Israel or Ephraim at the time 
of the captivity of the ten tribes by Shalmaneser. But 
yet the sceptre remained in the tribe of Judah under the 
kings of the house of David. And when the tribes of 
Judah and Benjamin were carried captive by Nebuchad 
nezzar, the sceptre of Judah ceased for a little while, 
until the return from the captivity under Cyrus: and 
then, though they were not an independent government, 
as they had been before, but owed fealty to the kings of 
Persia ; yet their governor was of themselves, who had 
the power of life and death, and they were governed by 
their own laws ; and so Judah had a lawgiver from be 
tween his feet during the Persian and Grecian monar 
chies. Towards the latter part of the Grecian monar 
chy, the people were governed by kings of their own, of 
the race of the Maccabees, for the greater part of an hun 
dred years; and after that they were subdued by the 
Romans. But yet the Romans suffered them to be gov 
erned by their own laws, and to have a king of their 
own, Herod the Great, who reigned about forty years, 
and governed with proper kingly authority, only paying 
homage to the Romans. But presently after Christ was 
born he died, as we have an account, Matt. ii. 19. and 
Archelaus succeeded him ; but was soon put down by 



178 A HISTORY OF THE 

the Roman Emperor ; and then the sceptre departed from 
Judah. There were no more temporal kings of Judah 
after that, neither had that people their governors from 
the midst of themselves after that, but were ruled by a 
Roman governor sent among them ; and they ceased any 
more to have the power of life and death among them 
selves. Hence the Jews say to Pilate, " It is not lawful 
for us to put any man to death," John xviii. 31. Thus 
the sceptre departed from Judah when Shiloh came. 



PART II. 

HAVING thus considered Christ s coming into the world, 
and his taking on him our nature, to put himself in a 
capacity for the purchase of redemption, I come now, 
secondly, to speak of the purchase itself. And in speak 
ing of this, I would, 

1. Show what is intended by the purchase of redemp 
tion. 

2. Observe some things in general concerning those 
things by which this purchase was made. 

3. I would orderly consider those things which Christ 
did and suffered, by which that purchase was made. 



SECTION I. 

I WOULD show what is here intended by Christ s pur 
chasing redemption. And there are two things that are 
intended by it, viz. his satisfaction, and his merit. All is 
done by the price that Christ lays down. But the price 
that Christ laid down does two things: it pays our debt, 
and so it satisfies: by its intrinsic value, and by the 
agreement between the Father and the Son, it procures 
a title for us to happiness, and so it merits. The satis 
faction of Christ is to free us from misery, and the merit 
of Christ is to purchase happiness for us. 

The word purchase, as it is used with respect to the 
purchase of Christ, is taken either more strictly or more 
largely. It is oftentimes used more strictly, to signify 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 179 

only the merit of Christ ; and sometimes more largely, 
to signify both his satisfaction and merit. Indeed most 
of the words which are used in this affair have various 
significations. Thus sometimes divines use merit in this 
affair for the whole price that Christ offered, both satis 
factory, and also positively meritorious. And so the 
word satisfaction is sometimes used, not only for his 
propitiation, but also for his meritorious obedience. For 
in some sense, not only suffering the penalty, but posi 
tively obeying, is needful to satisfy the law. The rea 
son of this various use of these terms seems to be, that 
satisfaction and merit do not differ so much really as 
relatively. They both consist in paying a valuable price, 
a price of infinite value; but only that price, as it re 
spects a debt to be paid, is called satisfaction ; and as it 
respects a positive good to be obtained, is called merit. 
The difference between paying a debt, and making a 
positive purchase is more relative than it is essential. 
He who lays down a price to pay a debt, does in some 
sense make a purchase : he purchases liberty from the 
obligation. And he who lays down a price to purchase 
a good, does as it were make satisfaction : he satisfies 
the conditional demands of him to whom he pays it. 
This may suffice concerning what is meant by the pur 
chase of Christ. 



SECTION II. 

I NOW proceed to some general observations concerning 
those things by which this purchase was made. And 
here, 

1. I would observe, that whatever in Christ had the 
nature of satisfaction, it was by virtue of the suffering 
or humiliation that was in it. But whatever had the na 
ture of merit, it was by virtue of the obedience or right 
eousness there was in it. The satisfaction of Christ con 
sists in his answering the demands of the law on man, 
which were consequent on the breach of the law. These 
were answered by suffering the penalty of the law. The 
merit of Christ consists in what he did to answer the de 
mands of the law, which were prior to man s breach of 
the law, or to fulfil what the law demanded before man 
sinned, which was obedience. 

The satisfaction or propitiation of Christ consists either 
in his suffering evil, or his being subject to abasement. 



180 A HISTORY OF THE 

For Christ did not only make satisfaction by proper suf 
fering, but by whatever had the nature of humiliation, 
and abasement of circumstances. Thus Christ made 
satisfaction for sin, by continuing under the power of 
death, while he lay buried in the grave, though neither 
his body nor soul properly endured any suffering after 
he was dead. Whatever Christ was subject to that was 
the judicial fruit of sin, had the nature of satisfaction for 
sin. But not only proper suffering, but all abasement 
and depression of the state and circumstances of man 
kind below its primitive honour and dignity, such as his 
body s remaining under death, and body and soul re 
maining separate, and other things that might be men 
tioned, are the judicial fruits of sin. And all that Christ 
did in his state of humiliation, that had the nature of 
obedience or moral virtue or goodness in it, in one re 
spect or another had the nature of merit in it, and was 
part of the price with which he purchased happiness for 
the elect. 

2. I would observe, that both Christ s satisfaction for 
sin, and also his meriting happiness by his righteous 
ness, were carried on through the whole time of his hu 
miliation. Christ s satisfaction for sin was not only by 
his last sufferings, though it was principally by them ; but 
all his sufferings, and all the humiliation that he was 
subject to from the first moment of his incarnation to his 
resurrection, were propitiatory or satisfactory. Christ s 
satisfaction was chiefly by his death, because his suffer 
ings and humiliation in that were greatest. But all his 
other sufferings, and all his other humiliation, all along 
had the nature of satisfaction. So had the mean circum 
stances in which he was born. His being born in such 
a low condition, was to make satisfaction for sin. His 
being born of a poor virgin, in a stable, and his being 
laid in a manger; his taking the human nature upon 
him in its low state, and under those infirmities brought 
upon it by the fall ; his being born in the form of sinful 
flesh, had the nature of satisfaction. And so all his suf 
ferings in his infancy and childhood, and all that labour, 
and contempt, and reproach, and temptation, and diffi 
culty of any kind, or that he suffered through the whole 
course of his life, was of a propitiatory and satisfactory 
nature. 

And so his purchase of happiness by his righteousness 
was also carried on through the whole time of his hu 
miliation until his resurrection ; not only in that obedi- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 181 

ence he performed through the course of his life, but 
also in the obedience he performed in laying down his 
life. 

3. It was by the same things that Christ hath satisfied 
God s justice, and also purchased eternal happiness. 
This satisfaction and purchase of Christ were not only 
both carried on through the whole time of Christ s hu 
miliation, but they were both carried on by the same 
things. He did not make satisfaction by some things 
that he did, and then work out a righteousness by other 
different things; but in the same acts by which he 
wrought out righteousness, he also made satisfaction, 
but only taken in a different relation. One and the 
same act of Christ, considered with respect to the obedi 
ence there was in it, was part of his righteousness, and 
purchased heaven : but considered with respect to the 
self denial, and difficulty, and humiliation, with which he 
performed it, had the nature of satisfaction for sin, and 
procured our pardon. Thus his going about doing good, 
preaching the gospel, and teaching his disciples, was a 
part of his righteousness, and purchase of heaven, as it 
was done in obedience to the Father ; and the same was 
a part of his satisfaction, as he did it with great labour, 
trouble, and weariness, and under great temptations, 
exposing himself hereby to reproach and contempt. So 
his laying down his life had the nature of satisfaction to 
God s offended justice, considered as his bearing our 
punishment in our stead : but considered as an act of 
obedience to God, who had given him this command, 
that he should, lay down his life for sinners, it was a part 
of his righteousness, and purchase of heaven, and as 
much the principal part of his righteousness as it was 
the principal part of his satisfaction. And so to instance 
in his circumcision, what he suffered in that, had the na 
ture of satisfaction : the blood that was shed in- his cir 
cumcision was propitiatory blood ; but as it was a con 
formity to the law of Moses, it was part of his meritori 
ous righteousness. Though it was not properly the act 
of his human nature, he being an infant; yet it being 
what the human nature was the subject of, and being 
the act of that person, it was accepted as an act of his 
obedience, as our Mediator. 

And so even his being born in such a low condition, 
had the nature of satisfaction, by reason of the humilia 
tion that was in it, and also of righteousness, as it was 
the act of his person in obedience to the Father, ancj. 



182 A HISTORY OF THE 

what the human nature was the subject of, and what the 
will of the human nature did acquiesce in, though there 
was no act of the will of the human nature prior to it. 

These things may suffice to have observed in the 
general concerning the purchase Christ made of re 
demption. 



SECTION lit. 

I NOW proceed to speak more particularly of those things 
which Christ did, and was the subject of, during the time 
of his humiliation, whereby this purchase was made. 
And the nature of the purchase of Christ, as it has been 
explained, leads us to consider these things under a two 
fold view, viz. 

1. With respect to his righteousness, which appeared 
in them. 

2. With respect to the sufferings and humiliation that 
he was subject to in them in our stead. 

$ I. I will consider the things that passed during the 
time of Christ s humiliation, with respect to the obedi 
ence and righteousness that he exercised in them. And 
this is subject to a threefold distribution. I shall there 
fore consider his obedience, 

1. With respect to the laws which he obeyed. 

2. With respect to the different stages of his life in 
which he performed it. 

3. With respect to the virtues he exercised in his obe 
dience. 

I. The first distribution of the acts of Christ s right 
eousness is with respect to the laws which Christ obeyed 
in that "righteousness which he performed. But here it 
must be observed in general, that all the precepts which 
Christ obeyed may be reduced to one law, and that is 
that which the apostle calls the law of works, Rom. iii. 
27. Every command that Christ obeyed may be reduced 
to that great and everlasting law of God that is contain 
ed in the covenant of works, that eternal rule of right 
which God had established between himself and man 
kind. Christ came into the world to fulfil and answer 
the covenant of works; that is, the covenant that is to 
stand for ever as a rule of judgment; and that is the 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 183 

covenant that we had broken, and that was the covenant 
that must be fulfilled. 

This law of works indeed includes all the laws of God 
which ever have been given to mankind; for it is a gen 
eral rule of the law of works, and indeed of the law of 
nature, That God is to be obeyed, and that he must be 
submitted to in whatever positive precept he is pleased 
to give us. It is a rule of the law of works, That men 
should obey their earthly parents : and it is certainly as 
much a rule of the same law, That we should obey our 
heavenly Father : and so the law of works requires obe 
dience to all positive commands of God. It required 
Adam s obedience to that positive command, Not to eat 
of the forbidden fruit : and it required obedience of the 
Jews to all the positive commands of their institution 
When God commanded Jonah to arise and go to Nineveh, 
the law of works required him to obey : and so it re 
quired Christ s obedience to all the positive commands 
which God gave him. 

But, more particularly, the commands of God which 
Christ obeyed, were of three kinds; they were either 
such as he was subject to merely as man, or such as he 
was subject to as he was a Jew, or such as he was sub 
ject to purely as Mediator. 

1. He obeyed those commands which he was subject 
to merely as man : and they were the commands of the 
moral law, which was the same with that which was 
given at Mount Sinai, written in two tables of stone, 
which are obligatory on mankind of all nations and all 
ages of the world. 

2. He obeyed all those laws he was subject to as he 
was a Jew. Thus he was subject to the ceremonial law, 
and was conformed to it. He was conformed to it in his 
being circumcised te eighth day ; and he strictly obey 
ed it in going up to Jerusalem to the temple three times 
a year; at least after he was come to the age of twelve 
years, which seems to have been the age when the males 
began to go up to the temple. And so Christ constantly 
attended the service of the temple, and of the syna 
gogues. 

To this head of his obedience to the law that he was 
subject to as a Jew, may be reduced his submission to 
John s baptism. For it was a special command to the 
Jews, to go forth to John the Baptist, and be baptized 
of him ; and therefore Christ being a Jew, was subject 
to this command : and therefore, when he came to be 



184 A HISTORY OF THE 

baptized of John, and John objected, that he had more 
need to come to him to be baptized of him. he gives this 
reason for it, That it was needful that he should do it, 
that he might fulfil all righteousness. See Matt. iii. 13, 
14, 15. 

3. Another law that Christ was subject to was the 
mediatorial law, which contained those commands of 
God to which he was subject, not merely as man, nor 
yet as a Jew, but which related purely to his mediato 
rial office. Such were the commands which the Father 
gave him, to teach such doctrines, to preach the gospel, 
to work such miracles, to call such disciples, to appoint 
such ordinances, and finally to lay down his life : for he 
did all these things in obedience to commands he had 
received of the Father, as he often tells us. And these 
commands he was not subject to merely as man ; for 
they did not belong to other men : nor yet was he sub 
ject to them as a Jew ; for they were no part of the Mo 
saic law ; but they were commands that he had received 
of the Father, that purely respected the work he was to 
do in the world in his mediatorial office. 

And it is to be observed, that Christ s righteousness, 
by which he merited heaven for himself, and all who be 
lieve in him, consists principally in his obedience to this 
mediatorial law : for in fulfilling this law consisted his 
chief work and business in the world. The history of 
the evangelists is chiefly taken up in giving an account 
of his obedience to this law : and this part of his obedi 
ence was that which was attended with the greatest dif 
ficulty of all; and therefore his obedience in it was most 
meritorious. What Christ had to do in the world by 
virtue of his being Mediator, was infinitely more difficult 
than what he had to do merely as a man, or as a Jew. 
To his obedience to this mediatorial law belongs his 
going through his last sufferings, beginning with his 
agony in the garden, and ending with his resurrection. 

As the obedience of the first Adam, wherein his right 
eousness would have consisted, if he had stood, would 
have mainly consisted, not in his obedience to the moral 
law, to which he was subject merely as man, but in his 
obedience to that special law that he was subject to as 
moral head and surety of mankind, even the command 
of abstaining from the tree of knowledge of good and 
evil ; so the obedience of the second Adam, wherein his 
righteousness consists, lies mainly, not in his obedience 
to the law that he was subject to merely as man, but to 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 185 

that special law which he was subject to in his office as 
Mediator and surety for man. 

Before I proceed to the next distribution of Christ s 
righteousness, I would observe three things concerning 
Christ s obedience to these laws. 

1. He performed that obedience to them which was in 
every respect perfect. It was universal as to the kinds 
of laws that he was subject to; he obeyed each of these 
three laws ; and it was universal with respect to every 
individual precept contained in these laws, and it was 
perfect as to each command. It was perfect as to posi 
tive transgressions avoided : for he never transgressed 
in one instance ; he was guilty of no sin of commission. 
And it was perfect with respect to the work command 
ed: he perfected the whole work that each command 
required, and never was guilty of any sin of omission. 
And it was perfect with respect to the principle from 
which he obeyed: his heart was perfect, his principles 
were wholly right, there was no corruption in his heart. 
And it was perfect with respect to the ends he acted for: 
for he never had any by ends, but aimed perfectly at 
such ends as the law of God required. And it was per 
fect with respect to the manner of performance : every 
circumstance of each act was perfectly conformed to the 
command. And it was perfect with respect to the de 
gree of the performance: he acted wholly up to the rule. 
And it was perfect with respect to the constancy of obe 
dience : he did not only perfectly obey sometimes, but 
constantly without any interruption. And it was per 
fect with respect to perseverance: he held out in perfect 
obedience to the very end, through all the changes he 
passed through, and all the trials that were before him. 

The meritoriousness of Christ s obedience, depends on 
the perfection of it. If it had failed in any instance of 
perfection, it could not have been meritorious : for im 
perfect obedience is not accepted as any obedience at 
all in the sight of the law of works, which was that law 
that Christ was subject to; for that is not accepted as 
an obedience to a law that does not answer that law. 

2. The next thing I would observe of Christ s obedi 
ence is, that it was performed through the greatest trials 
and temptations that ever any obedience was. His obe 
dience was attended with the greatest difficulties, and 
most extreme abasement and sufferings that ever any 
obedience was ; which was another thing that rendered 
it more meritorious and thankworthy. To obey another 

10* 



186 A HISTORY OP THE 

when his commands are easy, is not so worthy, as it is 
to obey when it cannot be done without great difficulty. 

3. He performed this obedience with infinite respect 
to God, and the honour of his law. The obedience he 
performed was with infinitely greater love to God, and 
regard to his authority, than the angels perform their 
obedience with. The angels perform their obedience 
with that love which is perfect, with sinless perfection : 
but Christ did not. do so, but he performed his obedi 
ence with much greater love than the angels do theirs, 
even infinite love; for though the human nature of 
Christ was not capable of love absolutely infinite, yet 
Christ s obedience that was performed in that human 
nature, is not to be looked upon as merely the obedience 
of the human nature, but the obedience of his person, as 
God-man ; and there was infinite love of the person of 
Christ manifest in that obedience. And this, together 
with the infinite dignity of the person that obeyed, ren 
dered his obedience infinitely meritorious. 

II. The second distribution of the acts of Christ s obe 
dience, is with respect to the different parts of his life, 
wherein they were performed. And in this respect they 
may be divided into those which were performed in pri 
vate life, and those which were performed in his public 
ministry. 

1st, Those acts he performed during his private life. 
He was perfectly obedient in his childhood. He infinite 
ly differed from other children, who, as soon as they be 
gin to act, begin to sin and rebel. He was subject to his 
earthly parents, though he was Lord of all, Luke ii. 51. 
He was found about his Father s business at twelve 
years of age in the temple, Luke ii. 42. He then began 
that work that he had to do in fulfilment of the mediato 
rial law, which the Father had given him. He continued 
his private life for about thirty years, dwelling at Naza 
reth in the house of his reputed father Joseph, where he 
served God in a private capacity, and in following a me 
chanical trade, the business of a carpenter. 

2dly, Those acts which he performed during his pub 
lic ministry, which began when he was about thirty 
years of age, and continued for the three last years and 
an half of his life. Most of the history of the evangelists 
is taken up in giving an account of what passed during 
these three years and an half; so is all the history of the 
Evangelist Matthew, excepting the first two chapters. 
So is the whole of the history of the Evangelist Mark ; 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 187 

it begins and ends with it. And so also is all the gospel 
of John, and all the gospel of Luke, excepting the two 
first chapters ; excepting also what we find in the evan 
gelists concerning the ministry of John the Baptist. 
Christ s first appearing in his public ministry, is what is 
often called his coming in scripture. Thus John speaks 
of Christ s coming as what is yet to be, though he had 
been born long before. 

Concerning the public ministry of Christ, I would ob 
serve the following things. 1. The forerunner of it. 2. 
The manner of his first entering upon it. 3. The works 
in which he was employed during the course of it ; and, 
4. The manner of his finishing it. 

1. The forerunner of Christ s coming in his public 
ministry was John the Baptist: he came preaching re 
pentance for the remission of sins, to make way for 
Christ s coming, agreeable to the prophecies of him, Isa. 
xl. 3, 4, 5. and Matt. iv. 5, 6. It is supposed that John 
the Baptist began his ministry about three years and an 
half before Christ ; so that John s ministry and Christ s 
put together, made seven years, which was the last of 
Daniel s weeks; and this time is intended in Dan. ix. 
27. " He will confirm the covenant with many for one 
week." Christ came in the midst of this week, viz. in 
the beginning of the last half of it, or the last three years 
and an half, as Daniel foretold, as in the verse just now 
quoted : " and in the midst of the week he shall cause 
the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." 

John Baptist s ministry consisted principally in preach 
ing the law, to awaken men and convince them of sin, 
to prepare men for the coming of Christ, to comfort 
them, as the law is to prepare the heart for the entertain 
ment of the gospel. 

A very remarkable outpouring of the Spirit of God 
attended John s ministry ; and the effect of it was that 
Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about 
Jordan, were awakened, convinced, went out to him, 
and submitted to his baptism, confessing their sins. 
John is spoken of as the greatest of all the prophets who 
came before Christ: Matt. xi. 11. "Among those that 
are born of women, there hath not risen a greater than 
John the Baptist ;" i. e. he had the most honourable of 
fice. He was as the morning star, which is the harbin 
ger of the approaching day, and forerunner of the rising 
sun. The other prophets were stars that were to give 
light in the night ; but we have heard how those stars 



188 A HISTORY OF THE 

went out on the approach of the gospel day. But now 
the coming of Christ being very nigh, the morning star 
comes before him, the brightest of all the stars, as John 
the Baptist was the greatest of all the prophets. 

And when Christ came in his public ministry, the light 
of that morning star decreased too; as we see, when the 
sun rises, it diminishes the light of the morning star. 
So John the Baptist says of himself, John iii. 30. "He 
must increase, but I must decrease." And soon after 
Christ began his public ministry, John the Baptist was 
put to death : as the morning star is visible a little while 
after the sun is risen, yet soon goes out. 

2. The next thing to be taken notice of is Christ s en 
trance on his public ministry, which was by baptism, 
followed with the temptation in the wilderness. His 
baptism was as it were his solemn inauguration, by 
which he entered on his ministry; and was attended 
with his being anointed with the Holy Ghost, in a solemn 
and visible manner, the Holy Ghost descending upon 
him in a visible shape like a dove, attended with a voice 
from heaven, saying, " This is my beloved Son, in whom I 
am well pleased," Matt. iii. 16, 17. 

After this he was led by the devil into the wilderness. 
Satan made a violent onset upon him at his first en 
trance on his work ; and now he had a remarkable trial 
of his obedience; but he got the victory. He who had 
such success with the first Adam, had none with the 
second. 

3. I would take notice of the work in which Christ 
was employed during his ministry. And here are three 
things chiefly to be taken notice of, viz. his preaching, 
his working miracles, and his calling and appointing 
disciples and ministers of his kingdom. 

(1.) His preaching the gospel. Great part of the work 
of his public ministry consisted in this; and much of that 
obedience by which he purchased salvation for us, was 
in his speaking those things which the Father command- 
?d him. He more clearly and abundantly revealed the 
mind and will of God, than ever it had been revealed be 
fore. He came from the bosom of the Father, and per 
fectly knew his mind, and was in the best capacity to 
reveal it. As the sun, as soon as it is risen, begins to 
shine ; so Christ, as soon as he came into his public min 
istry, began to enlighten the world with his doctrine. 
As the law was given at Mount Sinai, so Christ deliver 
ed his evangelical doctrine, full of blessings, and not 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 189 

curses, to a multitude on a mountain, as we have an ac 
count in the 5th, 6th, and 7th chapters of Matthew. 

When he preached, he did not teach as the scribes, 
but he taught as one having authority; so that his hear 
ers were astonished at his doctrine. He did not reveal 
the mind and will of God in the style which the prophets 
used to preach, as not speaking their own words, but 
the words of another; and used to speak in such a style 
as this, "Thus saith the Lord;" but Christ, in such a 
style as this, "I say unto you," thus or thus; "Verily, 
verily, I say unto you." He delivered his doctrines, not 
only as the doctrines of God the Father, but as his own 
doctrines. He gave forth his commands, not as the pro 
phets were wont to do, as God s commands, but as his 
own commands. He spake in such a style as this, " This 
is my commandment," John xv. 12. " Ye are my friends, 
if ye do whatsoever I command you," ibid. 14. 

(2.) Another thing that Christ was employed in during 
the course of his ministry, was working miracles. Con 
cerning which we may observe several things. 

Their multitude. Besides particular instances, we 
often have an account of multitudes coming at once with 
diseases, and his healing them. 

They were works of mercy. In them was disp^yed 
not only his infinite power and greatness, but his infinite 
mercy and goodness. He went about doing good, heal 
ing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, hearing to the 
deaf, and the proper use of their limbs to the lame and 
halt; feeding the hungry, cleansing the leprous, and 
raising the dead. 

They were almost all of them such as had been spoken 
of as the peculiar works of God, in the Old Testament. 
So with respect to stilling the sea, Psa. cvii. 29. " He 
maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are 
still." So as to walking on the sea in a storm : Job ix. 
8. " Which alone treadeth upon the waves of the sea." 
So as to casting out devils : Psa. Ixxiv. 14. " Thou break- 
est the heads of leviathan in pieces." So as to feeding a 
multitude in a wilderness: Deut. viii. 16. " Who fed thee 
in the wilderness with manna." So as to telling man s 
thoughts: Amos iv. 13. " Lo, he that declareth unto 
man what is his thought the Lord, the God of hosts is 
his name." So as to raising the dead: Psa. Ixviii. 20. 
"Unto God the Lord belong the issues from death." So 
as to opening the eyes of the blind : Psa. cxlvi. 8. " Tho 
Lord openeth the eyes of the blind. So as to healing 



190 A HISTORY OF THE 

the sick : Psa. ciii. 3. " Who healeth all thy diseases." 
So as to lifting up those who are bowed together: Psa. 
cxlvi. 8. " The Lord raiseth them that are bowed down." 

They were in general such works as were images of 
the great work which he came to work on man s heart ; 
representing that inward, spiritual cleansing, healing, 
renovation, and resurrection, which all his redeemed are 
the subjects of. 

He wrought them in such a manner as to show, that 
he did them by his own power, and not by the power of 
another, as the other prophets did. They were wont to 
work all their miracles in the name of the Lord ; but Christ 
wrought in his own name. Moses was forbidden to 
enter into Canaan, because he seemed by his speech to 
assume the honour of working only one miracle to him 
self. Nor did Christ work miracles as the apostles did, 
who wrought them all in the name of Christ ; but he 
wrought them in his own name, and by his own au 
thority and will: thus, saith he, "I will, be thou clean," 
Matt. viii. 3. And in the same strain he put the ques 
tion, " Believe ye that I am able to do this?" Matt. ix. 28. 

(3.) Another thing that Christ did in the course of his 
ministry, was to call his disciples. He called many dis 
ciples. There w r ere many that he employed as minis 
ters ; he sent seventy disciples at one time in this work: 
out there were twelve that he set apart as apostles, who 
were the grand ministers of his kingdom, and as it were 
the twelve foundations of his church. See Rev. xxi. 14. 
These were the main instruments of setting up his king 
dom in the world, and therefore shall sit on twelve 
thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 

4. I would observe how he finished his ministry. And 
this was, 

(1.) In giving his dying counsels to his disciples, and 
all that should be his disciples, which we have recorded 
particularly in the 14th, 15th, and 16th chapters of John s 
gospel. 

(2.) In instituting a solemn memorial of his death. 
This he did in instituting the sacrament of the Lord s 
supper, wherein we have a representation of his body 
broken, and of his blood shed. 

(3.) In offering up himself, as God s high priest, a sac 
rifice to God, which he did in his last sufferings. This 
acthed/i as God s minister, as God s anointed priest ; 
it is the greatest act of his public ministry, the 
t act of his obedience, by which he purchased 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 191 

heaven for believers. The priests of old used to do 
many other things as God s ministers; but then were 
they in the highest execution of their office when they 
were actually offering sacrifice on the altar. So the 
greatest thing that Christ did in the execution of his 
priestly office, and the greatest thing that he ever did, 
and the greatest thing that ever was done, was the of 
fering up himself a sacrifice to God. Herein he was the 
antitype of all that had been done by all the priests, and 
in all their sacrifices and offerings, from the beginning 
of the world. 

III. The third distribution of the acts by which Christ 
purchased redemption, regards the virtues that Christ 
exercised and manifested in them. And here I would 
observe, that Christ, in doing the work that he had to do 
here in the world for our redemption, exercised every 
possible virtue and grace. Indeed there are some par 
ticular virtues that sinful man may have, that were not 
in Christ; not from any want or defect of virtue, but be 
cause his virtue was perfect and without defect. Such 
is the virtue of repentance, and brokenness of heart for 
sin, and mortification, and denying of lust. Those vir 
tues were not in Christ, because he had no sin of his 
own to repent of, nor any lust to deny. But all virtues 
which do not presuppose sin, were in him, and that in a 
higher degree than ever they were in any other man, or 
any mere creature. Every virtue in him was perfect. 
Virtue itself was greater in him than in any other; and 
it was under greater advantages to shine in him than in 
any other. Strict virtue shines most when most tried: 
but never any virtue had such trials as Christ s had. 

The virtue that Christ exercised in the work he did, 
may be divided into three sorts, viz. the virtues which 
more immediately respect God, those which immediately 
respect himself, and those which immediately respect 
men. 

1. Those virtues which more immediately respect God, 
appeared in Christ in the work that he did for our re 
demption. There appeared in him an holy fear and re 
verence towards God the Father. Christ had a greater 
trial of his virtue in this respect than any other had, from 
the honourableness of his person. This was the tempta 
tion of the angels that fell, to cast off their worship of 
God, and reverence of his majesty, that they were be 
ings of such exalted dignity and worthiness themselves. 
But Christ was infinitely more worthy and honourable 



192 A HISTORY OF THE 

than they; for he was the eternal Son of God, and his 
person was equal to the person of God the Father: and 
yet, as he had taken on him the office of Mediator, and 
the nature of man, he was full of reverence towards God. 
He had ordered him in the most reverential manner time 
after time. So he manifested a wonderful love towards 
God. The angels give great testimonies of their love 
towards God, in their constancy and agility in doing the 
will of God ; and many saints have given great testimo 
nies of their love, who, from love to God, have endured 
great labours and sufferings: but none ever gave such 
testimonies of love to God as Christ has given; none 
ever performed such a labour of love as he, and suffered 
so much from love to God. So he manifested the most 
wonderful submission to the will of God. Never was 
any one s submission so tried as his was. So he mani 
fested the most wonderful spirit of obedience that ever 
was manifested. 

2. In this work he most wonderfully manifested those 
virtues which more immediately respected himself; as 
particularly humility, patience, and contempt of the 
world. Christ, though he was the most excellent and 
honourable of all men, yet was the most humble; yea, 
he was the most humble of all creatures. No angel or 
man ever equalled him in humility, though he was the 
highest of all creatures in dignity and honourableness. 
Christ would have been under the greatest temptations 
to pride, if it had been possible for any thing to be a 
temptation to him. The temptation of the angels that 
fell was the dignity of their nature, and the honourable- 
ness of their circumstances; but Christ was infinitely 
more honourable than they. The human nature of 
Christ was so honoured as to be in the same person with 
the eternal Son of God, who was equal with God ; and 
yet that human nature was not at all lifted up with pride. 
Nor was the man Christ Jesus at all lifted up with pride 
with all those wonderful works which he wrought, of 
healing the sick, curing the blind, lame, and maimed, 
and raising the dead. And though he knew that God 
had appointed him to be the king over heaven and earth, 
angels and men, as he says, Matt. xi. 27. "All things are 
delivered unto me of my Father;" though he knew he 
was such an infinitely honourable person, and thought 
it not robbery to be equal with God ; and though he 
knew he was the heir of God the Father s kingdom : 
yet such was his humility, that he did not disdain to be 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 193 

abased and depressed down into lower and viler circum 
stances and sufferings than ever any other elect crea 
ture was; so that he became least of all, and lowest of 
all. The proper trial and evidence of humility, is stoop 
ing or complying with those acts or circumstances, when 
called to it, which are very low, and contain great abase 
ment. But none ever stooped so low as Christ, if we 
consider either the infinite height that he stooped from, 
or the great depth to which he stooped. Such was his 
humility, that though he knew his infinite worthiness of 
honour, and of being honoured ten thousand times as 
much as the highest prince on earth, or angel in hea 
ven ; yet he did not think it too much when called to it, 
to be bound as a cursed malefactor, and to become the 
laughing-stock and spitting-stock of the vilest of men, and 
to be crowned with thorns, and to have a mock robe put 
upon him, and to be crucified like a slave and malefac 
tor, and as one of the meanest and worst of vagabonds 
and miscreants, and an accursed enemy of God and men, 
who was not fit to live on the earth ; and this not for 
himself, but for some of the meanest and vilest of crea 
tures, some of those accursed wretches that crucified 
him. Was not this a wonderful manifestation of humil 
ity, when he cheerfully and most freely submitted to this 
abasement? 

And, how did his patience shine forth under all the 
terrible sufferings which he endured, when he was 
dumb, and opened not his mouth, but went as a lamb to 
the slaughter, and was like a patient lamb under all the 
sufferings he endured from first to last ! 

And, what contempt of the glory of this world was 
there, when he rather chose this contempt, and mean 
ness, and suffering, than to wear a temporal crown, and 
be invested with the external glories of an earthly prince, 
as the multitude often solicited him ! 

3. Christ, in the work which he wrought out, in a 
wonderful manner exercised those virtues which more 
immediately respect other men. And these may be 
summed up under two heads, viz. meekness, and love. 

Christ s meekness was his humble calmness of spirit 
under the provocations that he met with. None ever 
met with so great provocations as he did. The great 
ness of provocation lies in two things, viz. in the degree 
of opposition by which the provocation is given ; and, 
secondly, in the degree of the unreasonableness of that 
opposition, or in its being very causeless, and without 



194 A HISTORY OP THE 

reason, and the great degree of obligation to the con 
trary. Now, if we consider both these things, no man 
ever met with such provocations as Christ did, when he 
was upon earth. If we consider how much he was hated, 
what abuses he suffered from the vilest of men, how 
great his sufferings from men were, and how spiteful 
and how contemptuous they were, in offering him these 
abuses; and also consider how causeless and unreason 
able these abuses were, how undeserving he was of them, 
and how much deserving of the contrary, viz. of love, 
and honour, and good treatment at their hands: I say, 
if we consider these things, no man ever met with a 
thousandth part of the provocation that Christ met with 
from men : and yet how meek was he under all ! how 
composed and quiet his spirit ! how far from being in a 
ruffle and tumult ! When he was reviled, he reviled not 
again ; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so 
he opened not his mouth. No appearance was there of 
a revengeful spirit: on the contrary, what a spirit of for 
giveness did he exhibit ! so that he fervently and effect 
ually prayed for their forgiveness, when they were in the 
highest act of provocation that ever they perpetrated, 
viz. nailing him to the cross: Luke xxiii. 34. "Father, 
forgive them, for they know not what they do." 

And never did there appear such an instance of love 
to men. Christ s love to men that he showed when on 
earth, and especially in going through his last sufferings, 
and offering up his life and soul under those sufferings, 
which was his greatest act of love, was far beyond all 
parallel. There have been very remarkable manifestations 
of love in some of the saints, as in the Apostle Paul, the 
Apostle John, and others : but the love to men that Christ 
showed when on earth, as much exceeded the love of all 
other men, as the ocean exceeds a small stream. 

And it is to be observed, that all the virtues which ap 
peared in Christ shone brightest in the close of his life, 
under the trials he met with then. Eminent virtue al 
ways shows brightest in the fire. Pure gold shows its 
purity chiefly in the furnace. It was chiefly under those 
trials which Christ underwent in the close of his life, that 
his love to God, his honour of God s majesty, and his re 
gard to the honour of his law, and his spirit of obedience, 
and his humility, and contempt of the world, and his 
patience, and his meekness, and his spirit of forgiveness 
towards men, appeared. Indeed every thing that Christ 
did to work out redemption for us appears mainly in the 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 195 

close of his life. Here mainly is his satisfaction for sin, 
and here chiefly is his merit of eternal life for sinners, 
and here chiefly appears the brightness of his example, 
which he hath set us to follow. 

Thus we have taken a brief view of the things where 
by the purchase of redemption was made with respect 
to his righteousness that appeared in them. I proceed 
now, 

II. To take a view of them with respect to the satis 
faction that he thereby made for sin, or the sufferings 
and humiliation that he was the subject of in them on 
our account. And here, 

I. He was subject to uncommon humiliation and suf 
ferings in his infancy. He was born to that end that he 
might die ; and therefore he did as it were begin to die 
as soon as he was born. His mother suffered in an un 
common manner in bearing him. When her travail 
came upon her, it is said, " there was no room in the 
inn," Luke ii. 7. She was forced to betake herself to a 
stable ; and therefore Christ was born in the place of the 
bringing forth of beasts. Thus he suffered in his birth, 
as though he had been meaner and viler than a man, and 
not possessed of the dignity of the human nature, but 
had been of the rank of the brute creatures. And we 
may conclude, that his mother s circumstances in other 
respects were proportionably strait and difficult, and 
that she was destitute of the conveniences necessary for 
so young an infant which others were wont to have; 
for want of which the new born babe without doubt suf 
fered much. 

And besides, he was persecuted in his infancy. They 
began to seek his life as soon as he was born. Herod, 
the chief man of the land, was so engaged to kill him, 
that, in order to it, he killed all the children in Bethle 
hem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old 
and under. And Christ suffered banishment in his in 
fancy, was driven out of his native country into Egypt; 
and without doubt suffered much by being carried so 
long a journey, when he was so young, into a strange 
country. 

II. Christ was subject to great humiliation in his pri 
vate life at Nazareth. He there led a servile obscure 
life, in a mean laborious occupation : for he is called not 
only the carpenter s son, but the carpenter: Mark vi. 3. 
" Is not this the carpenter, the brother of James, and Jo- 



196 A HISTORY OF THE 

ses, and Juda, and Simon 7" He, by hard labour, earned 
his bread before he ate it, and so suffered that curse 
which God pronounced on Adam, Gen. iii. 13. "In the 
sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread." Let us consider 
how great a degree of humiliation the glorious Son of 
God, the creator of heaven and earth, was subject to in 
this, that for about thirty years he should live a private 
obscure life among labouring men, and all this while be 
overlooked, and not taken notice of in the world, as more 
than other common labourers. Christ s humiliation in 
some respects was greater in private life than in the time 
of his public ministry. There were many manifestations 
of his glory in the word he preached, and the great mira 
cles he wrought : but the first thirty years of his life he 
spent among mean ordinary men, as it were in silence, 
without those manifestations of his glory, or any thing 
to make him to be taken notice of more than any ordi 
nary mechanic, but only the spotless purity and eminent 
holiness of his life; and that was in a great measure hid 
in obscurity ; so that he was little taken notice of until 
after his baptism. 

III. Christ was the subject of great humiliation and 
suffering during his public life, from his baptism until the 
night wherein he was betrayed. As particularly, 

1. He suffered great poverty, so that he had not 
" where to lay his head," Matt. viii. 20. and commonly 
used to lodge abroad in the open air, for want of a shelter 
to betake himself to; as you will see is manifest, if you 
compare the following places together, which I shall 
but name to you, even Matt. viii. 20. and John xviii. 1, 
2. and Luke xxi. 37. and ch. xxii. 39. So that what was 
spoken of Christ in Cant. v. 2. " My head is filled with 
dew, and my locks with the drops of the night," was 
literally fulfilled. And through his poverty he doubtless 
was often pinched with hunger, and thirst, and cold. 
We read Matt. iv. 2. that he was an hungered : and so 
again in Matt. xxi. 18. His mother and natural relations 
were poor, and not able to help him ; and he was main 
tained by the charity of some of his disciples while he 
lived. So we read in Luke viii. at the beginning, of cer 
tain women that followed him, and ministered to him of 
their substance. He was so poor, that he was not able 
to pay the tribute that was demanded of him, without 
tne miraculous coming of a fish to bring him the money 
out of the sea in his mouth. See Matt. xvii. 27. And 
when he ate at his last passover, it was not at his own 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 197 

charge, but at the charge of another, as appears by Luke 
xxii. 7. &c. And from his poverty he had no grave of 
his own to be buried in. It was the manner of the Jews, 
unless they were very poor, and were not able, to pre 
pare themselves a sepulchre while they lived. But 
Christ had no land of his own, though he was possessor 
of heaven and earth ; and therefore was buried by Joseph 
of Arimathea s charity, and in his tomb, which he had 
prepared for himself. 

2. He suffered great hatred and reproach. He was 
despised and rejected of men. He was by most esteem 
ed a poor insignificant person ; one of little account, 
slighted for his low parentage, and his mean city Naza 
reth. He was reproached as a glutton and drunkard, a 
friend of publicans and sinners ; was called a deceiver 
of the people; sometimes was called a madman, and a 
Samaritan, and one possessed with a devil, John vii. 20. 
and viii. 48. and x. 20. He was called a blasphemer, and 
was accounted by many a wizard, or one that wrought 
miracles by the black art, and by communication with 
Beelzebub. They excommunicated him, and agreed to 
excommunicate any man that should own him, as John 
ix. 22. They wished him dead, and were continually 
seeking to murder him; sometimes by force, and some 
times by craft. They often took up stones to stone him, 
and once led him to the brow of a hill, intending to throw 
him down the precipice, to dash him in pieces against 
the rocks. 

He was thus hated and reproached by his own visible 
people: John i. 11. "He came to his own, and his own 
received him not." And he was principally despised 
and hated by those who were in chief repute, and were 
their greatest men. And the hatred wherewith he was 
hated was general. Into whatever part of the land he 
went, he met with hatred and contempt. He met with 
these in Capernaum, and when he went to Jericho, when 
he went to Jerusalem, which was the holy city, when he 
went to the temple to worship, and also in Nazareth, his 
own city, and among his own relations, and his old 
neighbours. 

3. He suffered the btiffetings of Satan in an uncommon 
manner. We read of one time in particular, when he 
had a long conflict with the devil, when he was in the 
wilderness forty days, with nothing but wild beasts and 
devils ; and was so exposed to the devil s power, that he 

17* 



198 A HISTORY OF THE 

was bodily carried about by him from place to place, 
while he was otherwise in a very suffering state. 

And so much for the humiliation and suffering of 
Christ s public life, from his baptism to the night wherein 
be was betrayed. 

IV. I come now to his last humiliation and sufferings, 
from the evening of the night wherein he was betrayed 
to his resurrection. And here was his greatest humilia 
tion and suffering, by which principally he made satis 
faction to the justice of God for the sins of men. First, 
his life was sold by one of his own disciples for thirty 
pieces of silver, which was the price of the life of a ser 
vant, as you may see in Exod. xxi. 32. Then he was in 
that dreadful agony in the garden. There came such a 
dismal gloom upon his soul, that he began to be sorrow 
ful and very heavy, and said, his " soul was exceeding 
sorrowful, even unto death, and was sore amazed." So 
violent was the agony of his soul, as to force the blood 
through the pores" of his skin; so that while his soul was 
overwhelmed with amazing sorrow, his body was all 
clotted with blood. The disciples, who used to be as his 
friends and family, at this time, above all, appeared cold 
towards him, and unconcerned for him, at the same time 
that his Father s face was hid from him. Judas, to whom 
Christ had been so very merciful, and treated as one of 
his family, or familiar friends, comes and betrays him in 
the most deceitful, treacherous manner. The officers 
and soldiers apprehend and bind him; his disciples for 
sake him, and flee; his own best friends do not stand by 
him to comfort him, in this time of his distress. He is 
led away as a malefactor to appear before the priests 
and scribes, his venomous, mortal enemies, that they 
might sit as his judges, who sat up all night, to have the 
pleasure of insulting him, now they had got him into their 
hands. But because they aimed at nothing short of his 
life, they set themselves to find some colour to put him 
to death, arid seek for witnesses against him. When 
none appeared, they set some to bear false witness; and 
when their witness did not agree together, then they go 
to examining him, to catch something out of his own 
mouth. They hoped, he would say, that he was the 
Son of God, and then they thought they should have 
enough. But because they see they are not like to ob 
tain it without it, they then go to force him to say it, by 
adjuring him in the name of God, to say whether he was 
or not : and when he confessed that he was, then they 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 1U9 

supposed they had enough ; and then it was a time of 
rejoicing with them, which they show, by falling upon 
Christ, and spitting in his face, and blindfolding him, and 
striking him in the face with the palms of their hands, 
and then bidding him prophesy who it was that struck 
him ; thus ridiculing him for pretending to be a prophet. 
And the very servants have a hand in the sport : Mark 
xiv. 65. " And the servants did strike him with the palms 
of their hands." 

During the sufferings of that night, Peter, one of the 
chief of his own disciples, instead of standing by him to 
comfort him, appears ashamed to own him, and denies 
and renounces him with oaths and curses. And after the 
chief priests and elders had finished the night in so 
shamefully abusing him, when the morning was come, 
which was the morning of the most wonderful day that 
ever was, they led him away to Pilate, to be conde mned 
to death by him, because they had not the power of life 
and death in their own hands. He is brought before 
Pilate s judgment seat, and there the priests and elders 
accuse him as a traitor. And when Pilate, upon exam 
ining into the matter, declared he found no fault in him, 
the Jews were but the more fierce and violent to have 
him condemned. Upon which Pilate, after clearing him, 
very unjustly brings him upon a second trial ; and then 
not finding any thing against him, acquits him again. 
Pilate treats him as a poor worthless fellow; but is 
ashamed on so little pretence to condemn him as a 
traitor. 

And then he was sent to Herod to be tried by him, 
and was brought before Herod s judgment seat; and his 
enemies followed, and virulently accused him before 
Herod Herod does not condemn him as a traitor, 01 
one that would set up for a king, but looks upon him as 
Pilate did, as a poor worthless creature, not worthy to 
be taken notice of, and does but make a mere laugh of 
the Jews accusing him as a dangerous person to Ca3sar, 
as one that was in danger of setting up to be a king 
against him ; and therefore, in derision, dresses him up 
in a mock robe, and makes sport of him, and sends him 
back through the streets of Jerusalem to Pilate, with the 
mock robe on. 

Then the Jews prefer Barabbas before him, and are 
instant and violent with loud voices to Pilate, to crucify 
him. So Pilate, after he had cleared him twice, and 
Herod once, very unrighteously brings him on trial the 



200 A HISTORY OP THE 

third time, to try if he could not find something against 
him sufficient to crucify him. Christ was stripped and 
scourged : thus he gave his back to the smiter. After 
that, though Pilate still declared that he found no fault in 
him ; yet so unjust was he, that for fear of the Jews he 
delivered Christ to be crucified. But before they exe 
cute the sentence, his spiteful and cruel enemies take the 
pleasure of another spell of mocking him ; they get round 
him, and make a set business of it. They stripped him, 
and put on him a scarlet robe, and a reed in his hand, 
and a crown of thorns on his head. Both Jews and Ro 
man soldiers were united in the transaction ; they bow 
the knee before him, and in derision cry, " Hail, king of 
the Jews !" They spit upon him also, and take the reed 
out of his hand, and smite him on the head. After this, 
they led him away to crucify him, and made him carry 
his own cross, until he sunk under it, his strength being 
spent ; and then they laid it on one Simon a Cyrenian. 

At length, being come to Mount Calvary, they execute 
the sentence which Pilate had so unrighteously pro 
nounced. They nail him to his cross by his hands and 
feet, then raise it erect, and fix one end in the ground, 
he being still suspended on it by the nails which pierced 
his hands and feet. And now Christ s sufferings are 
come to the extremity : now the cup, which he so earn 
estly prayed that it might pass from him, is come, and 
he must, he does drink it. In those days crucifixion was 
the most tormenting kind of death by which any were 
wont to be executed. There was no death wherein the 
person expired so much of mere torment: and hence the 
Roman word, which signifies torment, is taken from this 
kind of death. And besides what our Lord endured in 
this excruciating death in his body, he endured vastly 
more in his soul. Now was that travail of his soul, of 
which we read in the prophet ; now it pleased God to 
bruise him, and to put him to grief; now he poured out 
his soul unto death, as in Isa. liii. And if the mere fore 
thought of this cup made him sweat blood, how much 
more dreadful and excruciating must the drinking of it 
have been ! Many martyrs have endured much in their 
bodies, while their souls have been joyful, and have sung 
for joy, whereby they have been supported under the suf 
ferings of their outward man, and have triumphed over 
them. But this was not the case with Christ ; he had no 
such support ; but his sufferings were chiefly those of 
the mind, though the other were extremely great. In 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 201 

his crucifixion Christ did not sweat Wood, as he had be 
fore, because his blood had vent otherwise, and not be 
cause his agony was now not so great. But though he 
did not sweat blood, yet such was the suffering of his 
soul, that probably it rent his vitals ; as seems probable 
by this, that when his side was pierced, there came forth 
blood and water. And so here was a kind of literal ful 
filment of that in Psa. xxii. 14. "I am poured out like 
water : my heart is like wax, it is melted in the midst 
of my bowels." 

Now, under all these sufferings, the Jews still mock 
him; and wagging their heads say, "Thou that destroy- 
est the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thy 
self: if thou be the Son of God, come down from the 
cross." And even the chief priests, scribes, and elders, 
joined in the cry, saying, " He saved others, himself he 
cannot save." And probably the devil at the same time 
tormented him to the utmost of his power ; and hence it 
is said, Luke xxii. 53. " This is your hour, and the power 
of darkness." 

Under these sufferings, Christ having cried out once 
and again with a loud voice, at last he said, " It is finish 
ed," (John xix. 30.) " and bowed the head, and gave up 
the ghost." And thus was finished the greatest and 
most wonderful thing that ever was done. Now the 
angels beheld the most wonderful sight that ever they 
saw. Now was accomplished the main thing that had 
been pointed at by the various institutions of the cere 
monial law, and by all the typical dispensations, and by 
all the sacrifices from the beginning of the world. 

Christ being thus brought under the power of death, 
continued under it until the morning of next day but 
one; and then was finished that great work, the pur 
chase of our redemption, for which such great preparation 
had been made from the beginning of the world. Then 
was finished all that was required in order to satisfy the 
threatenings of the law, and all that was necessary in 
order to satisfy divine justice; then the utmost that vin 
dictive justice demanded, even the whole debt was paid. 
Then was finished the whole of the purchase of eternal 
life. And now there is no need of any thing more to be 
done towards a purchase of salvation for sinners; nor 
has ever any thing been done since, nor will any thing 
more be done for ever and ever. 



202 A HISTORY OF THE 



IMPROVEMENT. 

IN surveying the history of redemption, from the fall of 
man to the end of the world, we have now shown how 
this work was carried on through the two former of the 
three main periods into which this whole space of time 
was divided, viz. from the fall to the incarnation of 
Christ, and from thence to the end of the time of Christ s 
humiliation ; and have particularly explained how in the 
first of these periods God prepared the way for Christ s 
appearing and purchasing redemption ; and how, in the 
second period, that purchase was made and finished. I 
would now make some improvement of what has been 
said on both these subjects considered conjunctly. And 
this I would do, 

1. In a use of reproof. 

2. In a use of encouragement. 



SECTION I. 

I BEGIN with a use of reproof; a reproof of three things: 

1. Of unbelief. 

2. Of self righteousness. 

3. Of a careless neglect of the salvation of Christ. 

I. If it be as we have heard, how greatly do these 
things reprove those who do not believe in, but reject 
the Lord Jesus Christ ! i. e. all those who do not heartily 
receive him. Persons may receive him in profession, 
and carry well outwardly towards him, and may wish 
that they had some of those benefits that Christ has pur 
chased, and yet their hearts not receive Christ ; they may 
be hearty in nothing that they do towards Christ ; they 
may have no high esteem of Christ, nor any sincere hon 
our or respect to Christ ; they may never have opened 
the door of their heart to Christ, but have kept him shut 
out all their days, ever since they first heard of Christ, 
and his salvation has been offered to them. Though 
their hearts have been opened to others, their doors have 
been flung wide open to them, and they have had free 
admittance at all times, and have been embraced and 
made much of, and the best room in their hearts has 
been given them, and the throne of their hearts has been 
allowed them; yet Christ has always been shut out, and 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 203 

they have been deaf to all his knocks and calls. They 
never could find an inclination of heart to receive him, 
nor would they ever trust in him. 

Let me now call upon you with whom it is thus, to 
consider how great your sin, in thus rejecting Jesus 
Christ, appears to be from those things that have been 
said. You slight the glorious person, for whose coming 
God made such great preparation in such a series of 
wonderful providences from the beginning of the world, 
and whom, after all things were made ready, God sent 
into the world, bringing to pass a thing before unknown, 
viz. the union of the divine nature with the human in 
one person. You have been guilty of slighting that 
great Saviour, who, after such preparation, actually ac 
complished the purchase of redemption ; and who, after 
he had spent three or four and thirty years in poverty, 
labour, and contempt, in purchasing redemption, at last 
finished the purchase by closing his life under such ex 
treme sufferings as you have heard ; and so by his death, 
and continuing for a time under the power of death, 
completed the whole. This is the person you reject and 
despise. You make light of all the glory of his person, 
and of all the glorious love of God the Father, in sending 
him into the world, and all his wonderful love appearing 
in the whole of this affair. That precious stone that God 
hath laid in Zion for a foundation in such a manner, and 
by such wonderful works as you have heard, is a stone 
set at nought by you. 

Sinners sometimes are ready to wonder why the sin 
of unbelief should be looked upon as such a great sin : 
but if you consider what you have heard, how can you 
wonder] If it be so, that this Saviour is so great a Sa 
viour, and this work so great a work, and such great 
things have been done in order to it, truly there is no 
cause of wonder that the sin of unbelief, or the rejection 
of this Saviour, is spoken of in scripture as such a dread 
ful sin, so provoking to God, and what brings greater 
guilt than the sins of the worst of the heathen, who never 
heard of those things, nor have had this Saviour offered 
to them. 

II. What has been said, affords matter of reproof to 
those who, instead of believing in Christ, trust in them 
selves for salvation. It is a common thing with men to 
take it upon themselves to purchase salvation for them 
selves, and so to do that great work which Christ came 
into the world to do. Are there none such here who 



204 A HISTORY OF THE 

trust in their prayers, and their good conversations, and 
the pains they take in religion, and the reformation of 
their lives, and in their self denial, to recommend them 
to God, to make some atonement for their past sins, and 
to draw the heart of God to them] 
Consider three things : 

1. How great a thing that is which you take upon 
you. You take upon you to do the work of the great 
Saviour of the world. You trust in your own doings to 
appease God for your sins, and to incline the heart of 
God to you. Though you are poor, worthless, vile, pol 
luted worms of the dust; yet so arrogant are you, that 
you take upon you that very work, that the only begot 
ten Son of God did when upon earth, and that he became 
man to capacitate himself for, and in order to which God 
spent four thousand years in all the great dispensations 
of his providence in the government of the world, aiming 
chiefly at this, to make way for Christ s coming to do this 
work. This is the work that you take upon yourself, 
and foolishly think yourself sufficient for it ; as though 
your prayers, and other performances were excellent 
enough for this purpose. Consider how vain is the 
thought which you entertain of yourself. How must 
such arrogance appear in the sight of Christ, whom it 
cost so much to make a purchase of salvation, when it 
was not to be obtained even by him, so great and glori 
ous a person, at a cheaper rate than his wading through 
a sea of blood, and passing through the midst of the 
furnace of God s wrath ! And how vain must your arro 
gance appear in the sight of God, when he sees you im 
agining yourself sufficient, and your worthless, polluted 
performances excellent enough for the accomplishing of 
that work of his own Son, to prepare the way for which 
he was employed in ordering all the great affairs of the 
world for so many ages ! 

2. If there be ground for you to trust, as you do, in 
your own righteousness, then all that Christ did to pur 
chase salvation when on earth, and all that God did 
from the first fall of man to that time to prepare the way 
for it, is in vain. Your self righteousness charges God 
with the greatest folly, as though he has done all things 
in vain, even so much in vain, that he has done all this to 
bring about an accomplishment of that which you alone, 
a little worm, with your poor polluted prayers, and the 
little pains you take in religion, mingled with all that 
hypocnsy and filthiness, are^sufficient to accomplish for 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 205 

yourself without Christ s help. For if you can appease 
God s anger, and can commend yourself to God by these 
means, then you have no need of Christ ; but he is dead 
in vain: Gal. ii. 21. "If righteousness come by the law, 
then Christ is dead in vain." 

If you can do this by your prayers and good works, 
Christ might have spared his pains; he might have 
spared his blood; he might have kept within the bosom 
of his Father, without coming down into this evil world 
to be despised, reproached, and persecuted to death; 
and God needed not have busied himself, as he did for 
four thousand years together, causing so many changes 
in the state of the world all that while, in order to the 
bringing about that which you, little as you are, can 
accomplish in a few days, only with the trouble of a few 
sighs, and groans, and prayers, and some other religious 
performances. Consider with yourself what greater 
folly could you have devised to charge upon God than 
this, to do all those things before and after Christ came 
into the world so needlessly ; when, instead of all this, 
he might have called you forth, and committed the busi 
ness to you, which you think you can do so easily. 

Alas ! how blind are natural men ! how sottish are the 
thoughts they have of things ! and especially how vain 
are the thoughts which they have of themselves ! How 
ignorant of their own littleness and pollution ! How do 
they exalt themselves up to heaven ! What great things 
do they assume to themselves ! 

3. You that trust to your own righteousness, arrogate 
to yourselves the honour of the greatest thing that ever 
God himself did; not only as if you were sufficient to 
perform divine works, and to accomplish some of the 
great works of God ; but such is your pride and vanity, 
that you are not content without taking upon you to do 
the very greatest work that ever God himself wrought, 
even the work of redemption. You see by what has 
been said, how God has subordinated all his other works 
to this work of redemption. You see how God s works 
of providence are greater than his works of creation, 
and that all God s works of providence, from the begin 
ning of the generations of men, were in order to this, to 
make way for the purchasing of redemption. But this 
is what you take upon yourself. To take on yourself to 
work out redemption, is a greater thing than if you had 
taken it upon you to create a world. Consider with 
yourself what a figure you a poor worm would make, 

18 



206 A HISTORY OF THE 

if you should seriously go about to create such a world 
as God did, should swell in your own conceit of your 
self, should deck yourself with majesty, pretend to speak 
the word of power, and call a universe out of nothing, 
intending to go on in order, and say, " Let there be light ; 
Let there be a firmament," &c. But then consider, that 
in attempting to work out redemption yourself, you at 
tempt a greater thing than this, and are serious in it, 
and will not be beat off from it, but strive in it, and are 
full of the thought of yourself that you are sufficient for 
it, and always big with hopes of accomplishing it. 

You take upon you to do the very greatest and most 
difficult part of this work, viz. to purchase redemption. 
Christ can accomplish other parts of this work without 
cost, without any trouble and difficulty: but this part 
cost him his life, as well as innumerable pains and la 
bours, with very great ignominy and contempt besides. 
Yet this is that part which self righteous persons go 
about to accomplish for themselves. If all the angels in 
heaven had been sufficient for this work, would God 
have set himself to effect such things as he did in order 
to it, before he sent his Son into the world ] And, would 
he ever have sent his own Son, the great Creator and 
God of the angels, into the world, to have done and suf 
fered such things 1 

What self righteous persons take to themselves, is the 
same work that Christ was engaged in when he was in 
his agony and bloody sweat, and when he died on the 
cross, which was the greatest thing that ever the eyes 
of angels beheld. This, great as it is, they imagine 
they can do the same that Christ accomplished by it. 
Their self righteousness does in effect charge Christ s 
offering up himself in these sufferings, as the greatest 
instance of folly that ever men or angels saw, instead of 
being the most glorious display of the divine wisdom and 
grace that ever was seen. Yea, self righteousness makes 
all that Christ did through the whole course of his life, 
and all that he said and suffered through that whole 
time, and his incarnation itself, and not only so, but all 
that God had been doing in the great dispensations of 
his providence from the beginning of the world to that 
time, as all nothing, but a scene of the most wild, and ex 
treme, and transcendent folly. 

Is it any wonder, then, that a self righteous spirit is so 
represented in scripture, and spoken of, as that which is 
most fatal to the souls of men 1 And, is it any wonder, 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 207 

that Christ is represented in scripture as being so pro 
voked with the Pharisees and others, who trusted in 
themselves that they were righteous, and were proud 
of their goodness, and thought that their own perform 
ances were a valuable price of God s favour and love) 

Let persons hence be warned against a self righteous 
spirit. You that are seeking your salvation, and taking 
pains in religion, take heed to yourselves that you do 
not trust in what you do; that you do not harbour any 
such thoughts; that God now, seeing how much you 
are reformed, how you take pains in religion, and how 
you are sometimes affected, will be pacified towards you 
with respect to your sins, and on account of it will not 
be so angry for your former sins ; and that you shall 
gain on him by such things, and draw his heart to show 
you mercy ; or at least that God ought to accept of what 
you do, so as to be inclined by it in some measure to 
forgive you, and have mercy on you. If you entertain 
this thought, that God is obliged to do it, and does not 
act justly if he refuse to regard your prayers and pains, 
and so quarrel with God, and complain of him for not 
doing, this shows what your opinion is of your own 
righteousness, viz. that it is a valuable price of salvation, 
and ought to be accepted of God as such. Such com 
plaining of God, and quarrelling with him, for not taking 
more notice of your righteousness, plainly shows that 
you are guilty of all that arrogance that has been spoken 
of, thinking yourself sufficient to offer the price of your 
own salvation. 

III. What has been said on this subject, affords mat 
ter of reproof to those who carelessly neglect the salva 
tion of Christ ; such as live a senseless kind of life, ne 
glecting the business of religion and their own souls for 
the present, not taking any course to get an interest in 
Christ, or what he has done and suffered, or any part in 
that glorious salvation he has purchased by that price, 
but rather have their minds taken up about the gains of 
the world, or about the vanities and pleasures of youth, 
and so make light of what they hear from time to time 
of Christ s salvation, that they do not at present so much 
as seek after it. Let me here apply myself to you in 
some expostulatory interrogations. 

1. Shall so many prophets, and kings, and righteous 
men, have their minds so much taken up with the pros 
pect, that the purchase of salvation was to be wrought 
out in ages long after their death ; and will you neglect it 



208 A HISTORY OF THE 

when actually accomplished 1 You have heard what great 
account the church in all ages made of the future redemp 
tion of Christ ; how joyfully they expected it, how they 
spoke of it, how they studied and searched into these things, 
how they sung joyful songs, and had their hearts greatly 
engaged about it, and yet never expected to see it done, 
and did not expect that it would be accomplished until 
many ages after their death, 1 Pet. i. 10, 1 1, 12. How much 
did Isaiah and Daniel, and other prophets, speak con 
cerning this redemption ! And how much were their 
hearts engaged, and their attention and study fixed up 
on it ! How was David s mind taken up in this subject ! 
He declared that it was all his salvation, and all his de 
sire; 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. How did he employ his voice and 
harp in celebrating it, and the glorious display of divine 
grace therein exhibited ! and all this although they be 
held it not as yet accomplished, but saw that it was to 
be brought to pass so long a time after their day. And 
before this, how did Abraham and the other patriarchs 
rejoice in the prospect of Christ s day, and the redemp 
tion which he was to purchase ! And even the saints 
before the flood were affected and elated in the expecta 
tion of this glorious event, though it was then so long fu 
ture, and it was so very faintly and obscurely revealed 
to them. 

Now these things are declared to you as actually fulfill 
ed. The church now has seen accomplished all those great 
things which they so joyfully prophesied of; and you are 
abundantly shown, how those things were accomplished: 
Matt. xiii. 17. "Verily I say unto you, that many pro 
phets and righteous men have desired to see those things 
which ye see, and have not seen ; and to hear those 
things which ye hear, and have not heard them." And 
yet, when these things are thus abundantly set before 
you as already accomplished, how do you slight them ! 
How light do you make of them ! How little are they 
taken notice of by you ! How unconcerned are you 
about them, following other things, and not so much as 
feeling any interest in them! Indeed your sin is ex 
tremely aggravated in the sight of God. God has put 
you under great advantages for your eternal salvation, 
far greater than those saints of old enjoyed. He has put 
you under a more glorious dispensation ; has given you 
a more clear revelation of Christ and his salvation ; and 
yet you neglect all these advantages, and go on in a 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 200 

careless course of life, as though nothing had been done, 
no such proposals and offers had been made you. 

2. Have the angels been so engaged about this salva 
tion which is by Christ, ever since the fall of man, though 
they are not immediately concerned in it, and will you 
who need it, and have it offered to you, be so careless 
about it 1 You have heard how the angels at first were 
subjected to Christ as mediator, and how they have all 
along been ministering spirits to him in this affair. In 
all the great dispensations which you have heard of from 
the beginning of the world, they have been active and as 
a flame of fire in this affair, being most diligently em 
ployed as ministering spirits to minister to Christ in this 
great affair of man s redemption. And when Christ came, 
how engaged were their minds ! They came to Zacha- 
rias, to inform him of the coming of Christ s forerunner: 
they came to the Virgin Mary, to inform her of the ap 
proaching birth of Christ : they came to Joseph, to warn 
him of the danger which threatened the newborn Sa 
viour, and to point out to him the means of safety. And 
how were their minds engaged at the time of the birth 
of Christ ! The whole multitude of the heavenly host 
sang praises upon the occasion, saying, " Glory to God 
in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will towards 
men." And afterwards, from time to time, they minis 
tered to Christ when on earth ; they did so at the time 
of his temptation, at the time of his agony in the garden, 
at his resurrection, and at his ascension. All these things 
show, that they were greatly engaged in this affair ; and 
the scripture informs us, that they pry into these things : 
1 Pet. i. 12. " Which things the angels desire to look in 
to." And how are they represented in the Revelation 
as being employed in heaven in singing praises to him 
that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb ! Now, shall 
these take so much notice of this redemption, and of the 
purchaser, who need it not for themselves, and have no 
immediate concern or interest in it, or offer of it ; and 
will you, to whom it is offered, and who are in such ex 
treme necessity of it, neglect and take no notice of it? 

3. Was it worth the while for Christ to labour so hard, 
and do and suffer so much to procure this salvation, and 
is it not worth the while for you to be at some labour in 
seeking ill Was it a thing of so great importance, that 
salvation should be procured for sinners, as that it was 
worthy to lie with such weight on the mind of Christ, as 
to induce him to become man, and to suffer such con- 

18* 



210 A HISTORY OF THE 

tempt and labour, and even death itself, in order to pro 
cure it, though lie stood in need of nothing, though he 
was like to gain no addition to his eternal happiness, 
though he could get nothing by those that he saved, 
though he did not need them ; was it of such importance 
that sinners should be saved, that he might properly be 
induced to submit to such humiliation and suffering; 
and yet is it not worth the while for you, who are one 
of those miserable sinners that need this salvation, and 
must perish eternally without it, to take earnest pains to 
obtain an interest in it after it is procured, and all things 
are ready ? 

4. Shall the great God be so concerned about this sal 
vation, as so often to overturn the world to make way 
for it ; and when all is done, is it not worth your seek 
ing after] How has the Lord of heaven and earth been 
as it were engaged about this affair ! What great, what 
wonderful things has he done from one age to another, 
removing kings, and setting up kings, raising up a great 
number of prophets, separating a distinct nation "from 
the rest of the world, overturning one nation and king 
dom, and another, and often overturning the state of the 
world ; and so has continued bringing about one change 
and revolution after another for forty centuries in suc 
cession, to make way for the procuring of this salvation ! 
And when he has done all ; and when, at the close of 
these ages, the great Saviour comes, and, becoming in 
carnate, and passing through a long series of reproach 
and suffering, and then suffering all the waves and bil 
lows of God s wrath for men s sins, insomuch that they 
overwhelmed his soul; after all these things done to pro 
cure salvation for sinners, is it not worthy of your taking 
so much notice of, or being so much concerned about, 
though you are those persons who need this salvation, 
but that it should be thrown by, and made nothing of, 
in comparison of worldly gain, or gay clothing, or youth 
ful diversions, or other such trifling things ? 

O ! that you who live negligent of this salvation, would 
consider what you do ! What you have heard from this 
subject, may show you what reason there is in that ex 
clamation of the Apostle, Heb. ii. 3. "How shall we 
escape if we neglect so great salvation?" and in that, 
Acts xiii. 41. "Behold," ye despisers, and wonder, 
and perish ; for I work a work in your days, a work 
which you shall in no wise believe, though a man de 
clare it unto you." God looks on such as^you as great 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 211 

enemies of the cross of Christ, and adversaries and des- 
pisers of all the glory of this great work. And if God 
has made such account of the glory of salvation as to 
destroy many nations, and so often overturn all nations, 
to prepare the way for the glory of his Son in this affair; 
how little account will he make of the lives and souls of 
ten thousand such opposers and despisers as you that 
continue impenitent, in comparison of that glory, when 
he shall hereafter come and find that your welfare stands 
in the way of that glory] Why surely you shall be 
dashed to pieces as a potter s vessel, and trodden down 
as the mire of the streets. God may, through wonderful 
patience, bear with hardened careless sinners for a 
while ; but he will not long bear with such despisers of 
h,is dear Son, and his great salvation, the glory of which 
he has had so much at heart, but will utterly consume 
them without remedy or mercy. 



SECTION II. 

I WILL conclude with a second use, of encouragement to 
burdened souls to put their trust in Christ for salvation. 
To all such as are not careless and negligent, but do 
make seeking an interest in Christ their main business, 
being sensible in some measure of their necessity of an 
interest in Christ, being afraid of the wrath to come ; to 
such what has been said on this subject holds forth great 
matter of encouragement, to come and venture their 
souls on the Lord Jesus Christ: and as motives proper 
to excite you so to do, let me lead you to consider two 
things in particular. 

1. The completeness of the purchase which has been 
made. As you have heard, this work of purchasing sal 
vation was wholly finished during the time of Christ s 
humiliation. When Christ rose from the dead, and was 
exalted from that abasement to which he submitted for 
our salvation, the purchase of eternal life was completely 
made, so that there was no need of any thing more to be 
done in order to it. But now the servants were sent 
forth with the message which we have account of in 
Matt. xxii. 4. " Behold, I have prepared my dinner : my 
oxen and my fallings are killed, and all things are ready: 
come unto the marriage." Therefore all things being 
ready, are your sins many and great? Here is enough 
done by Christ to procure their pardon. There is no 



212 A HiSTORy or THE 

need of any righteousness of yours to obtain your par 
don and justification : no, you may come freely, without 
money and without price. Since therefore there is such 
a free and gracious invitation given you, come; come 
naked as you are; come as a poor condemned criminal; 
come and cast yourself down at Christ s feet, as one just 
ly condemned, and utterly helpless in yourself. Here is 
a complete salvation wrought out by Christ, and through 
him offered to you. Come, therefore, accept of it, and 
be saved. 

2. For Christ to reject one that thus comes to him, 
would be to frustrate all those great things which you 
have heard that God brought to pass from the fall of man 
to the incarnation of Christ. It would also frustrate all 
that Christ did and suffered while on earth ; yea, it would 
frustrate the incarnation of Christ itself; and all the 
great things done in preparation for his incarnation; for 
all these things were for that end, that those might be 
saved who should come to Christ. Therefore you may 
be sure Christ will not be backward in saving those who 
come to him, and trust in him: for he has no desire to 
frustrate himself in his own work; it cost him too dear 
for that. Neither will God the Father refuse you ; for 
he has no desire to frustrate himself in all that he did for 
so many hundreds and thousands of years, to prepare 
the way for the salvation of sinners by Christ. Come, 
therefore, hearken to the sweet and earnest calls of Christ 
to your soul. Do as he invites, and as he commands 
you, Matt. xi. 28, 29, 30. "Come unto me, all ye that 
labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me ; and ye shall 
find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my 
burden is light." 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 2J3 



PERIOD III. 



IN discoursing on this subject, we have already shown 
how the work of redemption was carried on through the 
first two of the three periods into which we divided the 
whole space of time from the fall to the end of the world; 
and we are now come to 

The third and last period, beginning with Christ s 
resurrection, and reaching to the end of the world ; and 
would now show how this work was also carried on 
through this period, from this 

Proposition, That the space of time from the end of 
Christ s humiliation to the end of the world, is all taken 
up in bringing about the great effect or success of Christ s 
purchase. 

Not but that there were great effects and glorious suc 
cess of Christ s purchase of redemption before, even from 
the beginning of the generations of men. But all that 
success of Christ s redemption which was before, was 
only preparatory, and was by way of anticipation, as 
some few fruits are gathered before the harvest. There 
was no more success before Christ came than God saw 
needful to prepare the way for his coming. The proper 
time of the success or effect of Christ s purchase of re 
demption is after the purchase has been made, as the 
proper time for the world to enjoy the light of the sun is 
the day time, after the sun is risen, though we may have 
some small matter of it reflected from the moon and 
planets before. And even the success of Christ s re 
demption while he himself was on earth, was very small 
in comparison of what it was after the conclusion of his 
humiliation. 

But Christ having finished that greatest and most dif 
ficult of all works, the work of the purchase of redemp 
tion, now is come the time for obtaining the end of it, 
the glorious effect of it. This is the next work he goes 
about. Having gone through the whole course of hi? 



214 A HISTORY OF THE 

sufferings and humiliation, there is an end to all things 
of that nature : he is never to suffer any more. But now 
is the time for him to obtain the joy that was set before 
him. Having made his soul an offering for sin, now is 
the time for him to see his seed, and to have a portion 
divided to him with the great, and to divide the spoil 
with the strong. 

One design of Christ in what he did in his humiliation, 
was to lay a foundation for the overthrow of Satan s 
kingdom; and now is come the time to effect it, as 
Christ, a little before his crucifixion, said, John xii. 31. 
"Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the 
prince of this world be cast out." Another design was, 
to gather together in one all things in Christ. Now is 
come the time for this also : John xii. 32. " And I, if I be 
lifted up, will draw all men unto me ;" which is agree 
able to Jacob s prophecy of Christ, that when " Shiloh 
should come, to him should the gathering of the people 
be," Gen. xlix. 10. Another design is the salvation of 
the elect. Now when his sufferings are finished, and his 
humiliation is perfected, the time Is come for that also : 
Heb. v. 8, 9. " Though he were a Son, yet learned he 
obedience by the things which he suffered : and being 
made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation 
unto all them that obey him." Another design was, to 
accomplish by these things great glory to the persons of 
the Trinity. Now also is come the time for that : John 
xvii. 1. " Father, the hour is come ; glorify thy Son, that 
thy Son also may glorify thee." Another design was 
the glory of the saints. Now is the time also for this : 
John xvii. 2. "As thou hast given him power over all 
flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou 
hast given him." And all the dispensations of God s 
providence henceforward, even to the final consumma 
tion of all things, are to give Christ his reward, and ful 
fil his end in what he did and suffered upon earth, and 
to fulfil the joy that was set before him. 



INTRODUCTION. 

BEFORE I enter on the consideration of any particular 
things accomplished in this period, I would briefly ob 
serve some things in general concerning it ; and particu 
larly how the times "of this period are represented in 
scripture. 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 215 

I. The times of this period, for the most part, are those 
which in the Old Testament are called the latter days. 
We often, in the prophets of the Old Testament, read of 
such and such things that should come to pass in the 
latter days, and sometimes in the last days. Now these 
expressions of the prophets are most commonly to be 
understood of the times of the period that we are now 
upon. They are called the latter days, and the las*, 
days ; because this is the last period of the series of 
God s providences on earth, the last period of that great 
work of providence, the work of redemption ; which is 
as it were the sum of God s works of providence, the 
time wherein the church is under the last dispensation 
of the covenant of grace that ever it will be under on 
earth. 

II. The whole time of this period is sometimes in scrm- 
ture called the end of the world, as, 1 Cor. x. 11. " Now 
all these things happened unto them for ensamples: an * 
they are written for our admonition, upon whom tne 
ends of the world are come." And the Apostle, Heb. ix. 
26. in this expression of the end of the world, means the 
whole of the gospel day, from the birth of Christ to the 
finishing of the day of judgment : " but now once in the 
end of the world, hath he appeared, to put away sin by 
the sacrifice of himself." This space of time may well 
be called the end of the world ; for this whole time is 
taken up in bringing things to their great end and issue, 
to that great issue that God had been preparing the way 
for, in all the great dispensations of providence, from the 
first fall of man to this time. Before, things were in a 
kind of preparatory state ; but now they are in a finish 
ing state. It is the winding up of things which is all this 
while accomplishing. An end is now brought to the 
former carnal state of things, which by degrees vanishes, 
and a spiritual state begins to be established, and to be 
established more and more. First, an end is brought to 
the former state of the church, which may be called its 
worldly state, the state wherein it was subject to carnal 
ordinances, and the rudiments of the world: and then 
an end is brought to the Jewish state, in the destruction 
of their city and country: and then, after that, an end is 
brought to the old heathen empire in Constantine s time; 
which is another and further degree of the winding up 
and finishing of the world: and the next step is the 
finishing of Satan s visible kingdom in the world, upon 
the fall of Antichrist, and the calling of the Jews: and 



216 A HISTORY OF THE 

last will come the destruction of the outward frame of 
the world itself, at the conclusion of the day of judgment, 
But the world is all this while as it were a finishing, 
though it comes to an end by several steps and degrees. 
Heaven and earth began to shake, in order to a dissolu 
tion, according to the prophecy of Haggai, before Christ 
came, that so only those things that cannot be shaken 
may remain, i. e. that those things that are come to an 
end may come to an end, and that only those things 
may remain which are to remain to all eternity. 

So, in the first place, the carnal ordinances of the Jew 
ish worship came to an end, to make way for the estab 
lishment of that spiritual worship, the worship of the 
heart, which is to endure to all eternity: John iv. 21. 
"Jesus saith unto the woman, Believe me, the hour 
cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet 
at Jerusalem, worship the Father." Verse, 23. " But the 
hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers 
shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the 
Father seeketh such to worship him." This is one in 
stance of the temporary world s coming to an end, and 
the eternal world s beginning. And then, after that, the 
outward temple, and the outward city Jerusalem, came 
to an end, to give place to the setting up of the spiritual 
temple and the spiritual city, which are to last to eter 
nity ; which is another instance of removing those things 
which are ready to vanish away, that those things which 
cannot be shaken may remain. And then, after that, the 
old heathen empire comes to an end, to make way for 
the empire of Christ, which shall last to all eternity; 
which is another step of bringing the temporal world to 
an end, and of the beginning of the world to come, which 
is an eternal world. And after that, upon the fall of An 
tichrist, an end is put to Satan s visible kingdom on 
earth, to establish Christ s kingdom, which is an eternal 
kingdom ; as the prophet Daniel says, chap. vii. 27. "And 
the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the 
kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the 
people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is 
an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve 
and obey him;" which is another instance of the ending 
of the temporary world, and the beginning of the eternal 
one. And then, lastly, the very frame of this corruptible 
world shall come to an end, to make way for the church 
to dwell in another dwelling place, which shall last to 
eternity; which is the last instance of the same thing. 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 217 

Because the world is thus coming to an end by vari 
ous steps and degrees, the Apostle perhaps uses this ex 
pression, that the ends of the world are come on us ; not 
the end but the ends, of the plural number, as though 
the world has several endings one after another. 

The gospel dispensation is the last state of things in 
the world ; and this state is a finishing state : it is all 
spent in finishing things off which before had been pre 
paring, or abolishing things which before had stood. It 
is all spent as it were in summing things up, and bring 
ing them to their issues, and their proper fulfilment. 
Now all the old types are fulfilled, and all the prophecies 
of all the prophets from the beginning of the world shall 
be accomplished in this period. 

III. That state of things which is attained in the events 
of this period is called a new heaven and a new earth : 
Isa. Ixv. 17, 18. "For behold, I create new heavens, and 
a new earth : and the former shall not be remembered, 
nor come into mind. But be you glad and rejoice for 
ever in that which I create: for behold, I create Jerusa 
lem a rejoicing, and her people a joy." And ch. Ixvi. 22. 
" For as the new heavens and the new earth which I 
make, shall remain before me; so shall your seed and 
your name remain." See also ch. li. 16. As the former 
state of things, or the old world, by one step after an 
other, is through this period coming to an end ; so the 
new state of things, or the new world, which is a spirit 
ual world, is beginning and setting up. 

The heaven and earth which are corruptible, are shak 
ing, that the new heavens and new earth, which cannot 
be shaken, may be established and remain. 

In consequence of each of these finishings of the old 
state of things, there is a new beginning of a new and 
eternal state of things. So was that which accompanied 
the destruction of Jerusalem, which was an establishing 
of the spiritual Jerusalem, instead of the literal. So with 
respect to the destruction of the old heathen empire, and 
all the other endings of the old state of things, until at 
length the very outward frame of the old world itself 
shall come to an end ; and the church shall dwell in a 
world new to it, or to a great part of it, even heaven, 
which will be a new habitation; and then shall the 
utmost be accomplished that is meant by the new hea 
vens and the new earth. See Rev. xxi. 1. 

The end of God s creating the world was to prepare a 
19 



218 A HISTORY OP THE 

kingdom for his Son, (for he is appointed heir of the 
world) and that he might have the possession of it, and 
a kingdom in it, which should remain to all eternity. 
So that, so far forth as the kingdom of Christ is set up 
in the world, so far is the world brought to its end, and 
the eternal state of things set up. So far are all the 
great changes and revolutions of the ages of the world 
brought to their everlasting issue, and all things come to 
their ultimate period. So far are the waters of the long 
channel of divine providence, which has so many 
branches, and so many windings and turnings, emptied 
out into their proper ocean, which they have been seek 
ing from the beginning and head of their course, and so 
are come to their rest. So far as Christ s kingdom is 
established in the world, so far are things wound up and 
settled in their everlasting state, and a period put to the 
course of things in this changeable world ; so far are the 
first heavens and the first earth come to an end, and the 
new heavens and the new earth, the everlasting heavens 
and earth, established in their room. 

This leads me to observe, 

IV. That the state of things which is attained by the 
events of this period, is whatsis so often called the king 
dom of heaven, or the kingdom of God. We very often 
read in the New Testament of the kingdom of heaven. 
John the Baptist preached, that the kingdom of heaven 
was at hand ; and so did Christ, and his disciples after 
him; referring to something that the Jews in those days 
expected, and very much talked of, which they called 
by that name. They seem to have taken their expecta 
tion and the name chiefly from that prophecy of Daniel 
in Nebuchadnezzar s dream, Dan. ii. 44. " And in the 
days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a king 
dom;" together with that in chap. vii. 13, 14. 

Now this kingdom of heaven is that evangelical state 
of things in his church, and in the world, wherein con 
sists the success of Christ s redemption in this period. 
There had been often great kingdoms set up before, which 
were earthly kingdoms; as the Babylonish, the Persian, 
the Grecian, and the Roman monarchies. But Christ came 
to set up the last kingdom, which is not an earthly king 
dom, but an heavenly, and so is the kingdom of heaven : 
John xviii. 36. "My kingdom is not of this world." This 
is the kingdom of which Christ speaks, Luke xxii. 29. 
"My Father hath appointed to me a kingdom." This 
kingdom began soon after Christ s resurrection, and 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 219 

was accomplished in various steps from that time to the 
end of the world. Sometimes by the kingdom of hea 
ven, is meant that spiritual state of the church which be 
gan soon after Christ s resurrection ; sometimes that 
more perfect state of the church which shall obtain after 
the downfall of Antichrist ; and sometimes that glorious 
and blessed state to which the church shall be received 
at the day of judgment: 1 Cor. xv. 50. the apostle, speak 
ing of the resurrection, says, " This I say, that flesh and 
blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." 

Under this head I would observe several things par 
ticularly, for the clearer understanding of what the scrip 
ture says concerning this period. 

1. The setting up of the kingdom of Christ is chiefly 
accomplished by four successive great events, each of 
which is in scripture called Christ s coming in his king 
dom. The whole success of Christ s redemption is com 
prehended in one word, viz. his setting up his kingdom. 
This is chiefly done by four great successive dispensa 
tions of providence; and everyone of them is represent 
ed in scripture as Christ s coming in his kingdom. The 
first is Christ s appearing in those wonderful dispensa 
tions of providence in the apostles days, in setting up 
his kingdom, and destroying the enemies of his kingdom, 
which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem. This is 
called Christ s coming in his kingdom, Matt, xvi, 28. 
" Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, 
which shall not taste of death until they see the Son of 
Man coming in his kingdom." And so it is represented 
in Matt. xxiv. The second is that which was accom 
plished in Constantine s time, in the destruction of the 
heathen Roman empire. This is represented as Christ s 
coming, and is compared to his coming to judgment, in 
the 6th chapter of Revelation at the latter end. The 
third is that which is to be accomplished at the destruc 
tion of Antichrist. This also is represented as Christ s 
coming in his kingdom in the 7th chapter of Daniel, and 
in other places, as I may possibly show hereafter, when 
I come to speak of it. The fourth and last is his coming 
to the last judgment, which is the event principally sig 
nified in scripture by Christ s coming in his kingdom. 

2. I would observe, that each of "the three former of 
these is a lively image or type of the fourth and last, vz. 
Christ s coming to the final judgment, as the principal 
dispensations of providence before Christ s first coming, 
were types of that first coming. As Christ s last cou*. 



220 A HISTORY OF THE 

ing to judgment is accompanied with a resurrection of 
the dead, so is each, of the three foregoing with a spirit 
ual resurrection. That coming of Christ which ended 
in the destruction of Jerusalem, was preceded by a glo 
rious spiritual resurrection of souls in the calling of the 
Gentiles, and bringing home such multitudes of souls to 
Christ by the preaching of the gospel. So Christ s com 
ing in Constantine s time, was accompanied with a glo 
rious spiritual resurrection of the greater part of the 
known world, in a restoration of it to a visible church 
state, from a state of heathenism. So Christ s coming 
at the destruction of Antichrist, will be attended with a 
spiritual resurrection of the church after it had been long 
as it were dead, in the times of Antichrist. This is call 
ed the first resurrection in the 20th chapter of Revela 
tion. 

Again, as Christ in the last judgment will gloriously 
manifest himself, coming in the glory of his Father, so in 
each of the three foregoing events, Christ gloriously 
manifested himself in sending judgments upon his ene 
mies, and in showing grace and favour to his church; 
and as the last coming of Christ will be attended with a 
literal gathering together of the elect from the four winds 
of heaven, so were each of the preceding attended with 
a spiritual gathering in of the elect. As this gathering 
together of the elect will be effected by God s angels, 
with a great sound of a trumpet, as in Matt. xxiv. 31. 
so were each of the preceding spiritual ingatherings 
effected by the trumpet of the gospel, sounded by the 
ministers of Christ. As there shall precede the last ap 
pearance of Christ, a time of great degeneracy and 
wickedness, so this has been, or will be, the case with 
each of the other appearances. Before each of them is 
a time of great opposition to the church : before the first, 
by the Jews, in their persecutions that we read of in the 
New Testament ; before the second, viz. in Constantine s 
time, by the heathen, in several successive persecutions 
raised by the Roman emperors against the Christians; 
before the third, by Antichrist ; and before the last, by 
Gog and Magog, as described in the Revelation. 

By each of these comings of Christ, God works a glo 
rious deliverance for his church. Each of them is ac 
companied with a glorious advancement of the state of 
the church. The first, which ended in the destruction 
of Jerusalem, was attended with bringing the church 
into the glorious state of the gospel, a glorious state of 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 221 

the church very much prophesied of old, whereby the 
church was advanced into far more glorious circum 
stances than it was in before under the Jewish dispensa 
tion. The second, which was in Constantine s time, 
was accompanied with an advancement of the church 
into a state of liberty from persecution, and the counte 
nance of civil authority, and triumph over their heathen 
persecutors. The third, which shall be at the downfall 
of Antichrist, will be accompanied with an advancement 
of the church into that state of the glorious prevalence 
of truth, liberty, peace, and joy, that we so often read of 
in the prophetical parts of scripture. The last will be 
attended with the advancement of the church to con 
summate glory in both soul and body in heaven. 

Each of these comings of Christ is accompanied with 
a terrible destruction of the wicked, and the enemies of 
the church : the first, with the destruction of the perse 
cuting Jews, which was amazingly terrible ; the second, 
with dreadful judgments on the heathen persecutors of 
the church, of which more hereafter; the third, with the 
awful destruction of Antichrist, the most cruel and bitter 
enemy that ever the church had ; the fourth, with divine 
wrath and vengeance on all the ungodly. 

Further, there is in each of these comings of Christ an 
ending of the old heavens and the old earth, and a be 
ginning of new heavens and a new earth ; or an end of 
a temporal state of things, and a beginning of an eternal 
state. 

3. I would observe, that each of those four great dis 
pensations which are represented as Christ s coming in 
his kingdom, are but so many steps and degrees of the 
accomplishment of one event. They are not the setting 
up of so many distinct kingdoms of Christ; they are all 
of them only several degrees of the accomplishment of 
that one event prophesied of, Dan. vii. 13, 14. "And I 
saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of 
Man, came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the 
Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him. 
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a 
kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should 
serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and 
his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." This 
is what the Jews expected, and called "the coming of 
the kingdom of heaven ;" and what John the Baptist and 
Christ had respect to, when they said, " The kingdom of 
19* 



222 A HISTORY OF THE 

heaven is at hand." This great event is gradually ac 
complished, or is accomplished by several steps. Those 
four great events which have been mentioned, were 
several steps towards the accomplishment of this grand 
event. 

When Christ came with the preaching of the apostles, 
to set up his kingdom in the world, which dispensation 
ended with the destruction of Jerusalem, then it was ac 
complished in a glorious degree ; when the heathen em 
pire was destroyed in Constantine s time, it was fulfilled 
in a further degree; when Antichrist shall be destroyed, 
it will be accomplished in a yet higher degree : but when 
the end of the world is come, then will it be accomplish 
ed in its most perfect degree of all ; then it will be finally 
and completely accomplished. And because these four 
great events are but images one of another, and the three 
former but types of thelast, and since they are all only 
several steps of the accomplishment of the same thing ; 
hence we find them all from time to time prophesied of 
under one, as they are in the prophecies of Daniel, and 
as they are in the 24th chapter of Matthew, where some 
things seem more applicable to one of them, and others 
to another. 

4. I would observe, that as there are several steps of 
the accomplishment of the kingdom of Christ, so in each 
one of them the event is accomplished in a further de 
gree than in the foregoing. That in the time of Con- 
stantine was a greater and further accomplishment of 
the kingdom of Christ, than that which ended in the de 
struction of Jerusalem; that which shall be at the fall of 
Antichrist, will be a further accomplishment of the same 
thing, than that which took place in the time of Constan- 
tine ; and so on with regard to each : so that the kingdom 
of Christ is gradually prevailing and growing by these 
several great steps of its fulfilment, from the time of 
Christ s resurrection, to the end of the world. 

5. And lastly, it may be observed, that the great pro 
vidences of God between these four great events, are to 
make way for the kingdom and glory of Christ in the 
great event following. Those dispensations of provi 
dence which were towards the church of God and the 
world, before the destruction of the heathen empire in 
the time of Constantine, seem all to have been to make 
way for the glory of Christ, and the happiness of the 
church in that event. And so the great providences of 
God which are after that, until the destruction of Anti- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 223 

christ, and the beginning of the glorious times of the 
church which follow, seem all to be to prepare the way 
for the greater glory of Christ and his church in that 
event; and the providences of God which shall be after 
that to the end of the world, seem to be for the greater 
manifestation of Christ s glory at the end of the world, 
and in the consummation of all things. 

Thus I thought it needful to observe those things in 
general concerning this last period of the series of God s 
providence, before I take notice of the particular provi 
dences by which the work of redemption is carried on 
through this period, in their order: and before I do that, 
I will also briefly answer to an inquiry, viz. Why the 
setting up of Christ s kingdom after his humiliation, 
should be so gradual, by so many steps that are so long 
in accomplishing, since God could easily have finished it 
at once! 

Though it would be presumption in us to pretend to 
declare all the ends of God in this, yet doubtless much 
of the wisdom of God may be seen in it by us; and par 
ticularly in these two things. 

1. In this way the glory of God s wisdom, in the man 
ner of doing this, is more visible to the observation of 
creatures. If it had been done at once, in an instant, or 
in a very short time, there would not have been such 
opportunities for creatures to perceive and observe the 
particular steps of divine wisdom, as when the work is 
gradually accomplished, and one effect of his wisdom is 
held forth to observation after another. It is wisely de 
termined of God, to accomplish his great design by a 
wonderful and long series of events, that the glory of his 
wisdom may be displayed in the whole series, and that 
the glory of his perfections may be seen, appearing, as it 
were, by parts, and in particular successive manifesta 
tions : for if all that glory which appears in all these 
events had been manifested at once, it would have been 
too much for us, and more than we at once could take 
notice of; it would have dazzled our eyes, and over 
powered our sight. 

2. Satan is more gloriously triumphed over. God 
could easily, by an act of almighty power, at once have 
crushed Satan. But by giving him time to use his ut 
most subtilty to hinder the success of what Christ had 
done and suffered, he is not defeated merely by surprise, 
but has large opportunity to ply his utmost power and 
subtilty again and again, to strengthen his own interest 



224 A HISTORY OF THE 

all that he can by the work of many ages. Thus God 
destroys and confounds him, and sets up Christ s king 
dom time after time, in spite of all his subtle machina 
tions and great works, and by every step advances it 
still higher and higher, until at length it is fully set up, 
and Satan perfectly and eternally vanquished in the end 
of all things. 

I now proceed to take notice of the particular events 
whereby, from the end of Christ s humiliation to the end 
of the world, the success of Christ s purchase has been 
or shall be accomplished. 

1. I would take notice of those things whereby Christ 
was put into an immediate capacity for accomplishing 
the end of his purchase. 

2. I would show how he obtained or accomplished 
that success. 



PART I. 

I WOULD take notice, first, of those things by which Christ 
was put into a capacity for accomplishing the end of his 
purchase. And they are two things, viz. his resurrec 
tion, and his ascension. As we observed before, the in 
carnation of Christ was necessary in order to Christ s 
being in a near capacity for the purchase of redemption ; 
so the resurruction and ascension of Christ were requi 
site, in order to his accomplishing the success of his pur 
chase. 

I. His resurrection. It was necessary, in order to 
Christ s obtaining the end and effect of his purchase of 
redemption, that he should rise from the dead. For God 
the Father had committed the whole affair of redemp 
tion, not only the purchasing of it, but the bestowing of 
the blessings purchased, to his Son, that he should not 
only purchase it as priest, but actually bring it about as 
king ; and that he should do this as God-man. For God 
the Father would have nothing to do with fallen man, in 
a way of mercy, but by a mediator. But in order that 
Christ might carry on the work of redemption, and ac 
complish the success of his own purchase as God-man, 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 225 

it was necessary that he should be alive, and so that he 
should rise from the dead. Therefore Christ, after he 
had finished this purchase by death, and by continuing 
for a time under the power of death, rises from the dead, 
to fulfil the end of his purchase, and himself to bring 
about that for which he died : for this matter God the 
Father had committed unto him, that he might, as Lord 
of all, manage all to his own purposes: Rom. xiv. 9. 
"For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and re 
vived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and the 
living." 

Indeed Christ s resurrection, and so his ascension, 
was part of the success of what Christ did and suffered 
in his humiliation. For though Christ did not properly 
purchase redemption for himself, yet he purchased eter 
nal life and glory for himself, by what he did and suffer 
ed; and this eternal life and glory was given him as a 
reward of what he did and suffered : Phil. ii. 8, 9. "He 
humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even 
the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly 
exalted him." And it may be looked upon as part of the 
success of Christ s purchase, if it be considered, that 
Christ did not rise as a private person, but as the head 
of the elect church; so that they did, as it were, all rise 
with him. Christ was justified in his resurrection, i. e. 
God acquitted and discharged him hereby, as having 
done and suffered enough for the sins of all the elect : 
Rom. iv. 25. " Who was delivered for our offences, and 
raised again for our justification." And God put him in 
possession of eternal life, as the head of the church, as a 
sure earnest that they should follow. For when Christ 
rose from the dead, that was the beginning of eternal 
life in him. His life before his death was a mortal life, a 
temporal life ; but his life after his resurrection was an 
eternal life: Rom. vi. 9. "Knowing that Christ being 
raised from the dead, dieth no more ; death hath no more 
dominion over him." Rev. i. 18. " I am he that liveth, and 
was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen." 
But he was put in possession of this eternal life, as the 
head of the body ; and took possession of it, not only to 
enjoy himself, but to bestow on all who believe in him : 
so that the whole church, as it were, rises in him. And 
now he who lately suffered so much, after this is to suf 
fer no more for ever, but to enter into eternal glory 
God the Father neither expects nor desires any more 
suffering. 



226 A HISTORY OF THE 

This resurrection of Christ is the most joyful event 
that ever came to pass ; because hereby Christ rested 
from the great and difficult work of purchasing redemp 
tion, and received God s testimony, that it was finished. 
The death of Christ was the greatest and most wonder 
ful event that ever came to pass ; but that has a great 
deal in it that is sorrowful. But by the resurrection of 
Christ, that sorrow is turned into joy. The head of the 
whole church, in that great event, enters on the posses 
sion of eternal life; and the whole church is, as it were, 
* begotten again to a lively hope." 1 Pet. i. 3. Weeping 
had continued for a night, but now joy cometh in the 
morning, the most joyful morning that ever was. This 
is the day of the reigning of the head of the church, and 
all the church reigns with him. This is spoken of as a 
day which was worthy to be commemorated with the 
greatest joy of all days : Psa. cxviii. 24. " This is the day 
which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad 
in it." And therefore this above all other days is ap 
pointed for the day of the church s spiritual rejoicing to 
the end of the world, to be weekly sanctified, as their 
day of holy rest and joy, that the church therein may 
rest and rejoice with her head. And as the 3d chapter 
of Genesis is the most sorrowful chapter in the Bible; so 
those chapters in the evangelists that give an account of 
the resurrection of Christ, may be looked upon as the 
most joyful chapters of all the Bible: for those chapters 
give an account of the finishing of the purchase of re 
demption, and the beginning of the glory of the head of 
the church, as the greatest seal and earnest of the eter 
nal glory of all the rest. 

It is further to be observed, that the day of the gospel 
most properly begins with the resurrection of Christ. 
Until Christ rose from the dead, the Old Testament dis 
pensation remained : but now it ceases, all being fulfilled 
that was shadowed forth in the typical ordinances of that 
dispensation : so that here most properly is the end of 
the Old Testament night, and Christ rising from the 
grave with joy and glory, was as the joyful bridegroom 
of the church, as a glorious conqueror to subdue their 
enemies under their feet ; or was like the sun rising as 
it were from under the earth, after a long night of dark 
ness, and coming forth as a bridegroom, prepared as a 
strong man to run his race, appearing in joyful light to 
enlighten the world. Now that joyful and excellent dis 
pensation begins, that glorious dispensation, of which 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 227 

the prophets prophesied so much ; now the gospel sun is 
risen in glory, "and with healing in his wings," that 
those who fear God s name, may "go forth, and grow 
up as calves of the stall." 

II. Christ s ascension into heaven. In this I would in 
clude his sitting at the right hand of God. For Christ s 
ascension, and" sitting at the right hand of God, can 
scarcely be looked upon as two distinct things: for 
Christ s ascension was nothing else, but ascending to 
God s right hand; it was his coming to sit down at his 
Father s right hand in glory. This was another thing 
whereby Christ was put into a capacity for the accom 
plishing the effect of his purchase ; as one that comes to 
be a deliverer of a people as their king, in order to it, 
and that he may be under the best capacity for it, is first 
installed in his throne. We are told, that Christ was 
exalted for this end, that he might accomplish the suc 
cess of his redemption: Acts v. 31. "Him hath God ex 
alted with his right hand, for to give repentance unto 
Israel, and the remission of sins." 

Christ s ascension into heaven was, as it were, his 
solemn enthronization, whereby the Father did set him 
upon the throne, and invest him with the glory of his 
kingdom which he had purchased for himself, that he 
might thereby obtain the success of his redemption in 
conquering all his enemies: Psa. ex. 1. " Sit thou at my 
right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." 
Christ entered into heaven, in order to obtain the suc 
cess of his purchase, as the high priest of old, after he 
had offered sacrifice, entered into the holy of holies with 
the blood of the sacrifice, in order to obtain the success 
of the sacrifice which he had offered. See Heb. ix. 12. 
He entered into heaven, there to make intercession for 
his people, to plead the sacrifice which he had made in 
order to the success of it, Heb. vii. 25. 

And as he ascended into heaven, God the Father did 
in a visible manner set him on the throne as king of the 
universe. He then put the angels all under him, and 
subjected heaven and earth under him, that he might 
govern them for the good of the people for whom he had 
died, Eph. i. 20, 21, 22. 

And as Christ rose from the dead, so he ascended into 
heaven as the head of the body and forerunner of all the 
church ; and so they, as it were, ascend with him, as 
well as rise with him: so that we are both raised up to- 



228 A HISTORY OF THE 

gether, and made to sit together in heavenly places in 
Christ, Eph. ii. 6. 

The day of Christ s ascension into heaven was doubt 
less a joyful, glorious day in heaven. And as heaven 
received Christ, God-man, as its king, so doubtless it re 
ceived a great accession of glory and happiness, far be 
yond what it had before. So that the times in both 
parts of the church, both that part which is in heaven 
and also that which is on earth, are become more glori 
ous since Christ s humiliation than before. 

So much for those things whereby Christ was put into 
the best capacity for obtaining the success of redemp 
tion. 



PART II. 



I NOW proceed to show how he accomplished this suc 
cess. And here I would observe, that this success con 
sists in two things, viz. either in Grace, or in Glory. 
That success which consists in the former, is to be seen 
in those works of God which are wrought during those 
ages of the church wherein the church is continued un 
der the outward means of Grace. That success which 
consists in the latter of these, viz. Glory, has its chief ac 
complishment at the day of judgment. " 



SECTION I. 

I WOULD first consider the former kind of success, con 
sisting in God s grace here; which mainly appears in 
the works of God during the time that the Christian 
church continues under the means of grace; which is 
from Christ s resurrection to his appearing in the clouds 
of heaven to judgment ; which includes the three former 
of those great events of providence before mentioned, 
which are called Christ s coming in his kingdom. In 
speaking of this success, I would, 

1. Mention those things by which the means of this 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 229 

success were established after Christ s resurrection ; 
and, 
2. Consider the success itself 

5 I. I would consider those dispensations of providence, 
by which the means of this success were established after 
Christ s resurrection. 

I. The abolishing of the Jewish dispensation. This 
indeed was gradually done, but it began from the time 
of Christ s resurrection, in which the abolition of it is 
founded. This was the first thing done towards bring 
ing the former state of the world to an end. This is to 
be looked upon as the great means of the success of 
Christ s redemption. For the Jewish dispensation was 
not fitted for more than one nation : it was not fitted for 
the practice of the world in general, or for a church of 
God dwelling in all parts of the world : nor would it have 
been in any wise practicable by them : it would have 
been impossible for men living in all parts of the world 
to go to Jerusalem three times a year, as was prescribed 
in that constitution. When therefore God had a design 
of enlarging his church, as he did after Christ s resur 
rection, it was necessary that this dispensation should 
be abolished. If it had been continued, it would have 
been a great block and hinderance to the enlargement 
of the church. And besides, their ceremonial law, by 
reason of its burdensomeness, and the great peculiarity of 
some of its rites, was as it were a wall of partition, and 
was the ground of enmity between the Jews and Gen 
tiles, and would have kept the Gentiles from complying 
with the true religion. This wall therefore was broken 
down to make way for the more extensive success of 
the gospel; as Eph. ii. 14, 15. 

II. The next thing in order of time seems to be the 
appointment of the Christian Sabbath. For though this 
was gradually established in the Christian church, yet 
those things by which the revelation of God s mind and 
will was made, began on the day of Christ s resurrec 
tion, by his appearing then to his disciples, John xx. 10. 
and was afterwards confirmed by his appearing from 
time to time on that day rather than any other, John xx. 
26. and by his sending down the Holy Spirit so remark 
ably on that day, Acts ii. 1. and afterwards in directing 
that public assemblies and the public worship of Chris 
tians should be on that day, which may be concluded 
from Acts xx. 7. 1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2. and Rev. i. 10. And 

20 



230 A HISTORY OF THE 

so the day of the week on which Christ rose from the 
dead, that joyful day, is appointed to be the day of the 
church s holy rejoicing to the end of the world, and the 
day of their stated public worship. And \his is a very 
great and principal means of the success which the gos 
pel has had in the world. 

III. The next thing was Christ s appointment of the 
gospel ministry, and commissioning and sending forth 
his apostles to teach and baptize all nations. Of these 
things we have an account in Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. "Go 
ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in 
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost ; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever 
I have commanded you : and lo, I am with you alway, 
even unto the end of the world." There were three 
things done by this one instruction and commission of 
Christ to his apostles, viz. 

1. The appointment of the office of the gospel ministry. 
For this commission which Christ gives to his apostles, 
in the most essential parts of it, belongs to all ministers ; 
and the apostles, by virtue of it, were ministers or elders 
of the church. 

2. Here is something peculiar in this commission of 
the apostles, viz. to go forth from one nation to another, 
preaching the gospel in all the world. The apostles had 
something above what belonged to their ordinary char 
acter as ministers; they had an extraordinary power of 
teaching and ruling, which extended to all the churches; 
and not only all the churches which then were, but all 
that should be to the end of the world by their ministry. 
And so the apostles were, as it were, in subordination to 
Christ, made foundations of the Christian church. See 
Eph. ii. 20. and Rev. xxi. 14. 

3. Here is an appointment of Christian baptism. This 
ordinance indeed had a beginning before; John the Bap 
tist and Christ both baptized. But now especially by 
this institution is it established as an ordinance to be up 
held in the Christian church to the end of the world. 
The ordinance of the Lord s supper had been established 
before, just before Christ s crucifixion. 

IV. The next thing to be observed, is the enduing the 
apostles, and others, with extraordinary and miraculous 
gifts of the Holy Ghost ; such as the gift of tongues, the 
gift of healing, of prophecy, &c. The^Spirit of God was 
poured out in great abundance in this respect ; so that 
not only ministers, but a very great part of the Chris- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 231 

tians through the world were endued with them, both 
old and young; not only officers, and more honourable 
persons, but the meaner sort of people, servants and 
handmaids, were commonly endued with them, agree 
able to Joel s prophecy, Joel ii. 28, 29. of which prophecy 
the Apostle Peter takes notice, that it is accomplished in 
this dispensation, Acts ii. 11. 

How wonderful a dispensation was this ! Under the 
Old Testament, but few had such honours put upon 
them by God. Moses wished that all the Lord s people 
were prophets, Num. xi. 29. whereas Joshua thought it 
much that Eldad and Medad prophesied. But now we 
find the wish of Moses fulfilled. And this continued in 
a very considerable degree to the end of the apostolic 
age, or the first hundred years after the birth of Christ, 
which is therefore called the age of miracles. 

This was a great means of the success of the gospel in 
that age, and of establishing the Christian church in all 
parts of the world ; and not only in that age, but in all 
ages to the end of the world : for Christianity being by 
this means established through so great a part of the 
known world by miracles, it was after that more easily 
continued by tradition ; and then, by means of these ex 
traordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost, the apostles, and 
others, were enabled to write the New Testament, to be 
An infallible rule of faith and manners to the church to 
the end of the world. And furthermore, these miracles 
stand recorded in those writings as a standing proof and 
evidence of the truth of the Christian religion to all ages. 

V. The next thing I would observe is the revealing 
those glorious doctrines of the gospel fully and plainly, 
which had under the Old Testament been obscurely 
revealed. The doctrine of Christ s satisfaction and 
righteousness, his ascension and glory, and the way of 
salvation, under the Old Testament, were in a great 
measure hid under the veil of types and shadows and 
more obscure revelations, as Moses put a veil on his face 
to hide the shining of it; but now the veil of the temple 
is rent from the top to the bottom ; and Christ, the anti 
type of Moses, shines: the shining of his face is without 
a veil ; 2 Cor. iii. 12, 13, & 18. Now these glorious mys 
teries are plainly revealed, which were in a great mea 
sure kept secret from the foundation of the world, Eph. 
iii. 3, 4, 5. Rom. xvi. 25. " According to the revelation 
of the mystery which was kept secret since the world 
began, but now is made manifest;" and, Col. i. 26. 



232 A HISTORY OF THE 

" Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages, and 
generations, but now is made manifest to his saints." 

Thus the Sun of Righteousness, after it is risen from 
under the earth, begins to shine forth clearly, and not 
only by a dim reflection as it did before. Christ, before 
his death, revealed many things more clearly than ever 
they had been revealed in the Old Testament; but the 
great mysteries of Christ s redemption, and reconcilia 
tion by his death, and justification by his righteousness, 
were not so plainly revealed before Christ s resurrection. 
Christ gave this reason for it, that he would not put new 
wine into old bottles; and it was gradually done after 
Christ s resurrection. In all likelihood, Christ much 
more clearly instructed them personally after his resur 
rection, and before his ascension ; as we read that he 
continued with them forty days, speaking of the things 
pertaining to the kingdom, Acts i. 3. and that " he opened 
their understandings, that they might understand the 
scriptures," Luke xxiv. 45. But the clear revelation of 
these things was principally after the pouring out of the 
Spirit on the day of Pentecost, agreeable to Christ s pro 
mise, John xvi. 12, 13. "I have yet many things to say 
unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, 
when the Spirit of truth is come, he shall guide you into 
all truth." This clear revelation of the mysteries of the 
gospel, as they are delivered, we have chiefly through 
the hands of the Apostle Paul, by whose writings a child 
may come to know more of the doctrines of the gospel, 
in many respects, than the greatest prophets knew un 
der the darkness of the Old Testament. 

Thus we see how the light of the gospel, which began 
to dawn immediately after the fall, and gradually grew 
and increased through all the ages of the Old Testament, 
as we observed as we went along, is now come to the 
light of perfect day, and the brightness of the sun shining 
forth in his unveiled glory. 

VI. The next thing that I would observe, is the ap 
pointment of the office of deacons in the Christian church, 
which we have an account of in the 6th chapter of the 
Acts, to take care for the outward supply of the mem 
bers of Christ s church, and the exercise of that great 
Christian virtue of charity. 

VII. The calling, and qualifying, and sending the 
Apostle Paul. This was begun in his conversion as he 
was going to Damascus, and was one of the greatest 
.means of the success of Christ s redemption that follow- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 233 

ed : for this success was more by the labours, preaching, 
and writings of this Apostle, than all the other apostles 
put together. For, as he says, I Cor. xv. 10. he "labour 
ed more abundantly than they all ;" so his success was 
more abundant than that of them all. As he was the 
apostle of the Gentiles, so it was mainly by his ministry 
that the Gentiles were called, and the gospel spread 
through the world; and our nation, and the other na 
tions of Europe, have the gospel among them chiefly 
through his means ; and he was more employed by the 
Holy Ghost in revealing the glorious doctrines of the 
gospel by his writings, for the use of the church in all 
ages, than all the other apostles taken together. 

VIII. The next thing I would observe, is the institu 
tion of ecclesiastical councils, for deciding controversies, 
and ordering the affairs of the church of Christ, of which 
we have an account in the 15th chapter of Acts. 

IX. The last thing I shall mention under this head, 
is the committing the New Testament to writing. This 
was all written after the resurrection of Christ ; and all 
written either by the apostles, or by the evangelists, who 
were companions of the apostles. All the New Testa 
ment was written by the apostles themselves, excepting 
what was written by Mark and Luke, viz. the gospels 
of Mark and Luke, and the book of the Acts of the Apos 
tles. He that wrote the gospel of Mark, is supposed to 
be he whose mother was Mary, in whose house they 
were praying for Peter, when he, brought out of prison 
by the angel, came and knocked at the door; of which 
we read, Acts xii. 12. "And when he had considered the 
thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, 
whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered 
together, praying." He was the companion of the apos 
tles Barnabas and Saul : Acts xv. 37. " And Barnabas 
determined to take with them John, whose surname was 
Mark." He was Barnabas s sister s son, and seems 
sometimes to have been a companion of the Apostle 
Paul: Col. iv. 10. " Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, 
saluteth you, and Marcus, sister s son to Barnabas ; 
touching whom ye received commandment : if he come 
unto you, receive him." The apostles seem to have 
made great account of him, as appears by those places, 
and also by Acts xii. 25. " And Barnabas and Saul re 
turned from Jerusalem, and took with them John, whose 
surname was Mark ;" and Acts xiii. 5. " And when they 
were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the 

20* 



234 A HISTORY OF THE 

synagogues of the Jews ; and they had also John to their 
minister;" and, 2 Tim. iv. 11. "Only Luke is with me: 
take Mark and bring him with thee ; for he is profitable 
to me for the ministry." 

This Luke, who wrote the gospel of Luke and the 
book of Acts, was a great companion of the Apostle Paul. 
He is spoken of as being with him in the last mentioned 
place, and speaks of himself as accompanying him in his 
travels in the history of the Acts; and therefore he speaks 
in the first person plural, when speaking of Paul s tra 
vels, saying, We went to such and such a place ; We set 
sail ; We launched from such a place ; and landed at 
such a place. He was greatly beloved by the Apostle 
Paul : he is that beloved physician spoken of, Col. iv. 
14. The Apostle ranks Mark and Luke among his fel 
low labourers, Philemon, 24. " Marcus, Aristarchus, De- 
mas, Lucas, my fellow labourers." 

The rest of the books were all written by the apostles 
themselves. The books of the New Testament are either 
historical, or doctrinal, or prophetical. The historical 
books are the writings of the four evangelists, giving us 
the history of Christ, and his purchase of redemption, 
and his resurrection and ascension ; and the Acts of the 
Apostles, giving an account of the great things by which 
the Christian church was first established and propagat 
ed. The doctrinal books are the epistles. These, most 
of them, we have from the great Apostle Paul. And we 
have one prophetical book, which takes place after the 
end of the history of the whole Bible, and gives an ac 
count of the great events which were to come to pass 
by which the work of redemption was to be carried on 
to the end of the world. 

All these books are supposed to have been written be 
fore the destruction of Jerusalem, excepting those which 
were written by the Apostle John, who lived the longest 
of all the apostles, and wrote what he wrote after the 
destruction of Jerusalem, as is supposed. And to this 
beloved disciple it was that Christ revealed those won 
derful things which were to come to pass in his church 
to the end of time; and he was the person that put the 
finishing hand to the canon of the scriptures, and sealed 
the whole of it. So that now the canon of scripture, that 
great and standing written rule, which was begun about 
Moses s time, is completed and settled, and a curse de 
nounced against him that adds any thing to it, or dimin 
ishes any thing from it. And so all things are establish- 



AVORK OF REDEMPTION. 235 

ed and completed which relate to the appointed means 
of grace. All the stated means of grace were finished 
in the apostolical age, or before the death of the Apostle 
John, and are to remain unaltered to the day of judg 
ment. 

Thus far we have considered those things by which 
the means of grace were given and established in the 
Christian church. 

II. The other thing proposed relating to the success 
of Christ s redemption during the church s continuance 
under means of grace, was to show how this success 
was carried on ; which is what I would now proceed to 
do. 

And here it is worthy to be remembered, that the 
Christian church, during its continuance under the means 
of grace, is in two very different states. 

1. In a suffering, afflicted, persecuted state, as, for the 
most part it is, from the resurrection of Christ until the 
fall of Antichrist. 

2. In a state of peace and prosperity; which is the 
state that the church, for the most part, is to be in after 
the fall of Antichrist. 

First, I would show how the success of Christ s re 
demption is carried on during the continuance of the 
church s suffering state, from the resurrection of Christ 
to the fall of Antichrist. This space of time, for the most 
part, is a state of the church s sufferings, and is so repre 
sented in scripture. Indeed God is pleased, out of love 
and pity to his elect, to grant many intermissions of the 
church s sufferings during this time, whereby the days 
of tribulation are as it were shortened. But from Christ s 
resurrection until the fall of Antichrist, is the appointed 
day of Zion s troubles. During this space of time, for 
the most part, some part or other of the church is under 
persecution ; and great part of the time, the whole church, 
or at least the generality of God s people, have been per 
secuted. 

For the first three hundred years after Christ, the 
church was for the most part in a state of great afflic 
tion, the object of reproach and persecution; first by the 
Jews, and then by the heathen. After this, from the be 
ginning of Constantine s time, the church had rest and 
prosperity for a little while ; which is represented in 
Rev. vii. at the beginning, by the angel s holding the four 
winds for a little while. But presently after, the church 



236 A HISTORV OP THE 

again sufFerd persecution from the Arians ; and after 
that, Antichrist rose, and the church was driven away 
into the wilderness, and was kept down in obscurity, 
and contempt, and suffering, for a long time, under An 
tichrist, before the reformation by Luther and others. 
And since the Reformation, the church s persecutions 
have been beyond all that ever were before. And though 
some parts of God s church sometimes have had rest, 
yet to this day, for the most part, the true church is very 
much kept under by its enemies, and some parts of it 
under grievous persecution ; and so we may expect it 
will continue until the fall of Antichrist; and then will 
come the appointed day of the church s prosperity on 
earth, the set time in which God will favour Zion, the 
time when the saints shall not be kept under by wicked 
men, as it has been hitherto ; but wherein they shall be 
uppermost, and shall reign on earth, as it is said, Rev. 
v. 10. " And the kingdom shall be given to the people of 
the saints of the Most High," Dan. vii. 27. 

This suffering state of the church is in scripture re 
presented as a state of the church s travail, John xvi. 20, 
21. and Rev. xii. I, 2. What the church is in travail 
striving to bring forth during this time, is that glory and 
prosperity of the church which shall be after the fall of 
Antichrist, and then shall she bring forth her child. This 
is a long time of the church s trouble and affliction, and 
is so spoken of in scripture, though it be spoken of as 
being but for a little season, in comparison of the eter 
nal prosperity of the church. Hence the church, under 
the long continuance of this affliction, cries out, as in 
Rev. vi. 10. "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost 
thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell 
on the earth 1" And we are told, that " white robes were 
given unto every one of them; and it was said unto 
them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until 
their fellow servants also, and their brethren, that should 
be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." So, Dan. xii. 
6. "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders ?" 

It is to be observed, that during the time of these suf 
ferings of the church, the main instrument of their suf 
ferings has been the Roman government : her afflictions 
have almost all along been from Rome. That is there 
fore in the New Testament called Babylon ; because, as 
of old the troubles of the city Jerusalem were mainly 
from that adverse city Babylon, so the troubles of the 
Christian church, the spiritual Jerusalem, during the 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 237 

long time of its tribulation, is mainly from Rome. Be 
fore the time of Constantine, the troubles of the Chris 
tian church were from heathen Rome : since that time, 
its troubles have been mainly from Antichristian Rome. 
And as of old, the captivity of the Jews ceased on the 
destruction of Babylon, so the time of the trouble of the 
Christian church will cease with the destruction of the 
church of Rome, that spiritual Babylon. 

In showing how the success of Christ s redemption is 
carried on, during this time of the church s tribulation, I 
would, 

1. Show how it was carried on until the destruction 
of Jerusalem, with which ended the first great dispensa 
tion of Providence which is called Christ s coming in his 
kingdom. 

2. How it was carried on from thence to the destruc 
tion of the heathen empire in the time of Constantine, 
which is the second dispensation called Christ s coming. 

3. How it was carried on from thence to the destruc 
tion of Antichrist, when will be accomplished the third 
great event called Christ s coming, and with which the 
days of the church s tribulation and travail end. 

I. I would show how the success of Christ s purchase 
of redemption was carried on from Christ s resurrection 
to the destruction of Jerusalem. In speaking of this, I 
would, 1. Take notice of the success itself; and, 2. The 
opposition made against it by the enemies of it ; and, 3. 
The terrible judgments of God on those enemies. 

1. I would observe the success itself. Soon after Christ 
had finished the purchase of redemption, and was gone 
into heaven, and entered into the holy of holies with his 
own blood, there began a glorious success of what he 
had done and suffered. Having undermined the foun 
dation of Satan s kingdom, it began to fall apace. Swift 
ly did it hasten to ruin in the world, which might well 
be compared to Satan s falling like lightning from hea 
ven. Satan before had exalted his throne very high in 
this world, even to the very stars of heaven, reigning 
with great glory in his heathen Roman empire : but 
never before hatl he such a downfall as he had soon after 
Christ s ascension. He had, we may suppose, been very 
lately triumphing in a supposed victory, having brought 
about the death of Christ, which he doubtless gloried in 
as the greatest feat that ever he did ; and probably im 
agined he had totally defeated God s design by him. But 
he was quickly made sensible, that he had only been 



238 A HISTORY OF THE 

ruining his own kingdom, when he saw it tumbling so 
fast so soon after, as a consequence of the death of Christ. 
For Christ, by his death, having purchased the Holy Spi 
rit, and having ascended, and received the Spirit, he 
poured it forth abundantly for the conversion of thou 
sands and millions of souls. 

Never had Christ s kingdom been so set up in the 
world. There probably were more souls converted in 
the age of the apostles than had been before from the 
beginning of the world until that time. Thus God so 
soon begins gloriously to accomplish his promise to his 
Son, wherein he had promised, that he should see his 
seed, and that the pleasure of the Lord should prosper 
in his hand, if he would make his soul an offering for 
sin. And, 

(1.) Here is to be observed the success which the gos 
pel had among the Jews : for God first began with them. 
He being about to reject the main body of that people, 
first calls in his elect from among them, before he forsook 
them, to turn to the Gentiles. It was so in former great 
and dreadful judgments of God on that nation : the bulk 
of them were destroyed, and only a remnant saved, or 
reformed. So it was in the rejection of the ten tribes, 
long before this rejection : the bulk of the ten tribes were 
rejected, when they left the true worship of God in Jero 
boam s time, and afterwards more fully in Ahab s time. 
But yet there was a remnant of them that God reserved. 
A number left their possessions in these tribes, and went 
and settled in the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. And 
afterwards there were seven thousand in Ahab s time, 
who had not bowed the knee to BaaJ. And so, in the 
captivity into Babylon, only a remnant of them ever re 
turned to their own land. And so now again, by far the 
greater part of the people were rejected entirely, but 
some few were saved. And therefore the Holy Ghost 
compares this reservation of a number that were con 
verted by the preaching of the apostles, to those former 
remnants : Rom. ix. 27. Esaias also crieth concerning 
Israel, Tnough the number of the children of Israel be 
as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved." See 
Isa. x. 22. 

The glorious success of the gospel among the Jews af 
ter Christ s ascension, began by the pouring out of the 
Spirit upon the day of Pentecost, of which we read in 
Acts ii. So wonderful was this pouring out of the Spirit, 
and so remarkable and swiit the effect of it, that we read 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 239 

of three thousand who were converted to the Christian 
faith in one day, Acts ii. 41. And probably the greater 
part of these were savingly converted. And after this, 
we read of God s adding to the church daily such as 
should be saved, ver. 47. And soon after, we read, that 
the number of them were about five thousand. Thus 
were not only a multitude converted, but the church was 
then eminent in piety, as appears by Acts ii. 46, 47, and 
iv. 32. 

Thus the Christian church was first of all of the nation 
of Israel ; and therefore, when the Gentiles were called, 
they were but as it were added to Israel, to the seed of 
Abraham. They were added to the Christian church of 
Israel, as the proselytes of old were to the Mosaic church 
of Israel ; and so were as it were only grafted on the 
stock of Abraham, and were not a distinct tree ; for they 
are all still the seed of Abraham and Israel ; as Ruth the 
Moabitess, and Uriah the Hittite, and other proselytes 
of old, were the same people, and ranked as the seed of 
Israel. 

So the Christian church at first began at Jerusalem, 
and from thence was propagated to all nations : so that 
this church of Jerusalem was the church that was as it 
were the mother of all other churches in the world; 
agreeable to the prophecy, Is. ii. 3, 4. " Out of Zion shall 
go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusa 
lem : and he shall judge among the nations, and rebuke 
many people." So that the whole church of God is still 
God s Jerusalem : they are his spiritual Jerusalem, and are 
as it were only added to the church, which was begun in 
the literal Jerusalem. 

After this, we read of many thousands of Jews that 
believed, in Jerusalem, Acts xxi. 20. And so we read of 
multitudes of Jews who were converted in other cities 
of Judea ; and not only so, but even in other parts of the 
world. For wherever the apostles went, if there were 
any Jews there, their manner was, first to go into the 
synagogues of the Jews, and preach the gospel to them, 
and many in one place and another believed ; as in Da 
mascus and Antioch, and many other places that we read 
of in the Acts of the Apostles. 

In this pouring out of the Spirit, which began at the 
Pentecost following Christ s ascension, began that first 
great dispensation which is called Christ s coming in his 
kingdom. Christ s coming thus in a spiritual manner 
for the glorious setting up of his kingdom in the world, 



240 A HISTORY OF THE 

is represented by Christ himself as his comingdown from 
heaven, whither he had ascended, John xiv. 18. There 
Christ having been speaking of his ascension, says, " I 
will not leave you comfortless ; I will come unto you," 
speaking of his coming by the coming of the Comforter, 
the Spirit of truth. And, ver. 28. " Ye have heard how 
I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you." 
And thus the apostles began to see the kingdom of hea 
ven come with power, as he promised they should, Mark 
ix. 1. 

(2.) What is next to be observed is the success of the 
gospel among the Samaritans. After the success of the 
gospel had been so gloriously begun among the proper 
Jews, the Spirit of God was next wonderfully poured out 
on the Samaritans, who were not Jew r s by nation, but the 
posterity of those whom the king of Assyria removed 
from different parts of his dominions, and settled in the 
land that was inhabited by the ten tribes whom he car 
ried captive. But yet they had received the five books 
of Moses, and practised most of the rites of the law of 
Moses, and so were a sort of mongrel Jews. We do not 
find them reckoned as Gentiles in the New Testament : 
for the calling of the Gentiles is spoken of as a new thing 
after this, beginning with the conversion of Cornelius. 
But yet it was an instance of making that a people that 
were no people: for they had corrupted the religion 
which Moses commanded, and did not go up to Jerusa 
lem to worship, but had another temple of their own in 
Mount Gerizzim ; which is the mountain of which the 
woman of Sarnaria speaks, when she says, " Our fathers 
worshipped in this mountain." Christ there does not ap 
prove of their separation from the Jews; but tells the 
woman of Samaria, that they worshipped they knew not 
what, and that salvation is of the Jews. But now salva 
tion is brought from the Jews to them by the preaching 
of Philip, (excepting that before, Christ had some success 
among them,) with whose preaching there was a glori 
ous pouring out of the Spirit of God in the city of Sa 
maria ; where we are told, that, " the people believed 
Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of 
Christ, and were baptized, both men and women ; and 
that there was great joy in that city," Acts viii. 8 12. 

Thus Christ had a glorious harvest in Samaria ; which 
is what Christ seems to have had respect to, in what he 
said to his disciples at Jacob s well three or four years 
before, on occasion of the people of Samaria s appearing 



WORK O/ REDEMPTION. 241 

at a distance in the fields coming to the place where 
Christ was, at the instigation of the woman of Samaria. 
On that occasion, he bids his disciples lift up their eyes 
to the fields, for that they were white to the harvest, John 
iv. 35, 36. The disposition which the people of Samaria 
showed towards Christ and his gospel, showed that they 
were ripe for the harvest. But now the harvest is come 
by Philip s preaching. There used to be a most bitter 
enmity between the Jews and Samaritans ; but now, by 
their conversion, the Christian Jews and Samaritans are 
all happily united : for in Christ Jesus is neither Jew nor 
Samaritan, but Christ is all in all. This was a glorious 
instance of the wolf s dwelling with the lamb, and the 
leopard s lying down with the kid. 

(3.) The next thing to be observed is the success there 
was of the gospel in calling the Gentiles. This was a 
great and glorious dispensation of divine providence, 
much spoken of in the prophecies of the Old Testament, 
and spoken of by the apostles, time after time, as a most 
glorious event of Christ s redemption. This was begun 
in the conversion of Cornelius and his family, greatly to 
the admiration of Peter, who was used as the instrument 
of it, and of those who were with him, and of those who 
were informed of it ; as you may see, Acts x. & xi. And 
the next instance of it that we have any account of, was 
in the conversion of great numbers of Gentiles in Cy 
prus, and Cyrene, and Antioch, by the disciples that 
were scattered abroad by the persecution which arose 
about Stephen, as we have an account in Acts xi. 19, 20. 
21. And presently upon this the disciples began to be 
called Christians first at Antioch, ver. 26. 

And after this, vast multitudes of Gentiles were con 
verted in many different parts of the world, chiefly by 
the ministry of the Apostle Paul, a glorious pouring out 
of the Spirit accompanying his preaching in one place 
and another. Multitudes flocked into the church of 
Christ in a great number of cities where the Apostle 
came. So the number of the members of the Christian 
church that were Gentiles, soon far exceeded the num 
ber of its Jewish members ; yea so, that in less than ten 
years time after Paul was sent forth from Antioch to 
preach to the Gentiles, it was said of him and his com 
panions, that they had turned the world upside-down: 
Acts xvii. 6. " These that have turned the world upside 
down are come hither also." But the most remarkable 
pouring out of the Soirit in a particular city that we 

21 



242 A HISTORY OF THE 

have any account of in the New Testament, seems to bo 
that in the city of Ephesus, which was a very great city. 
Of this we have an account in Acts xix. There was 
also a very extraordinary ingathering of souls at Corinth, 
one of the greatest cities in all Greece. And after this, 
many were converted in Rome, the chief city of all the 
world ; and the gospel was propagated into all parts of 
the Roman empire. Thus the gospel sun, which had 
lately risen on the Jews, now rose upon, and began to 
enlighten the heathen world, after they had continued in 
gross heathenish darkness for so many ages. 

This was a great thing, and a new thing, such as never 
had been before. All nations but the Jews, and a few 
who had at one time and another joined with them, had 
been rejected from about Moses time. The Gentile world 
had been covered over with the thick darkness of idolatry ; 
but now, at the joyful glorious sound of the gospel, they 
began in all parts to forsake their old idols and to abhor 
them, and to cast them to the moles and to the bats, and 
to learn to worship the true God, and to trust in his Son 
Jesus Christ ; and God owned them for his people ; those 
who had so long been afar off, were made nigh by the 
blood of Christ. Men were changed from being heathen 
ish and brutish, to be the children of God ; were called 
out of Satan s kingdom of darkness, and brought into 
God s marvellous light; and in almost all countries 
throughout the known world were assemblies of the 
people of God ; joyful praises were sung to the true God, 
and Jesus Christ the glorious Redeemer. Now that 
great building which God began soon after the fall of 
man, rises gloriously, not in the same manner that it had 
done in former ages, but in quite a new manner. Now 
Daniel s prophecies concerning the last kingdom, which 
should succeed the four heathenish monarchies, begins 
to be fulfilled; now the stone cut out of the mountain 
without hands, began to smite the image on its feet, and 
to break it in pieces, and to grow great, and to make 
great advances towards filling the earth ; and now God 
gathers together the elect from the four winds of heaven, 
by the preaching of the apostles and other ministers, the 
angels of the Christian church sent forth with the great 
sound of the gospel trumpet, before the destruction of 
Jerusalem, agreeable to what Christ foretold, Matt, 
xxiv. 31. 

This was the success of Christ s purchase, during this 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 243 

first period of the Christian church, which terminated in 
the destruction of Jerusalem. 

2. I would proceed now, in the second place, to take 
notice of the opposition which was made to this success 
of Christ s purchase by the enemies of it. Satan, who 
lately was so ready to triumph and exult, as though he 
had gained the victory in putting Christ to death, now 
finding himself fallen into the pit which he had digged, 
and finding his kingdom falling so fast, and seeing 
Christ s kingdom make such amazing progress, such as 
never had been before, we may conclude he was filled 
with the greatest confusion and astonishment, and hell 
seemed to be effectually alarmed by it to make the most 
violent opposition against it. And, first, the devil stirred 
up the Jews, who had before crucified Christ, to perse 
cute the church : for it is observable, that the persecution 
which the church suffered during this period, was mostly 
from the Jews. Thus we read in the Acts, when, at Je 
rusalem, the Holy Ghost was poured out at Pentecost, 
how the Jews mocked, and said, " These men are full of 
new wine ;" and how the scribes and Pharisees, and the 
captain of the temple, were alarmed, and bestirred them 
selves to oppose and persecute the apostles, and first ap 
prehended and threatened them, and afterwards impris 
oned and beat them ; and breathing out threatenings and 
slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, they stoned 
Stephen in a tumultuous rage ; and were not content to 
persecute those that they could find in Judea, but sent 
abroad to Damascus and other places, to persecute all 
that they could find every where. Herod, who was 
chief among them, stretched forth his hands to vex the 
church, and killed James with the sword, and proceeded 
to take Peter also, and cast him into prison. 

So in other countries, we find, that almost wherever 
the apostles came, the Jews opposed the gospel in a most 
malignant manner, contradicting and blaspheming. How 
many things did the blessed Apostle Paul suffer at their 
hands in one place and another ! How violent and blood 
thirsty did they show themselves towards him, when he 
cameHo bring alms to his nation ! In this persecution and 
cruelty was fulfilled the saying of Christ, Matt, xxiii. 34. 
" Behold, I send you prophets, and wise men, and scribes : 
and some of them ye shall kill and crucify, and some of 
them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and perse 
cute them from city to city." 

3. 1 proceed to take notice of those judgments which 



244 A HISTORY OF THE 

were executed on those enemies of Christ, the perscuting 
Jews. 

(1.) The bulk of the people were given up to judicial 
blindness of mind and hardness of heart. Christ de 
nounced such a wo upon them in the days of his flesh ; 
as Matt. xiii. 14. 15. This curse was also denounced on 
them by the Apostle Paul, Acts xxviii. 25, 26, 27, and un 
der this curse, under this judicial blindness and hard 
ness, they remain to this very day, having been subject 
to it for about 1700 years, being the most awful instance 
of such a judgment, and monuments of God s terrible 
vengeance, of any people that ever were. That they 
should continue from generation to generation so obsti 
nately to reject Christ, so that it is a very rare thing 
that any one of them is converted to the Christian faith, 
though their own scriptures of the OldTestament, which 
they acknowledge, are so full of plain testimonies against 
them, is a remarkable evidence of their being dreadfully 
left of God. 

(2.) They were rejected and cast off from being any 
longer God s visible people. They were broken off from 
the stock of Abraham, and since that have no more been 
reputed his seed, than the Ishmaelites or Edomites, who 
are as much his natural seed as they. The greater part 
of the two tribes were now cast off, as the ten tribes had 
been before, and another people were taken in their 
room, agreeable to the predictions of their own pro 
phets ; as of Moses, Deut. xxxii. 21. " They have moved 
me to jealousy with that which is not God ; they have 
provoked me to anger with their vanities ; and I will 
move them to jealousy with those which are not a peo 
ple, I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation ;" 
and of Isa. Ixv. 1. " I am sought of them that asked not 
for me; I am found of them that sought me not." They 
were visibly rejected and cast off, by God s directing his 
apostles to turn away from them, and let them alone : as 
Acts xiii. 46, 47. " Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, 
and said, It was necessary that the word of God should 
first have been spoken to you : but seeing ye put it from 
you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, 
Jo, we turn to the Gentiles: for so hath the Lord com 
manded us." And so Acts xviii. 6, & xxviii. 28. 

Thus far we have had the scripture history to guide 
us ; henceforward we shall have the guidance only of 
two things, viz. of scripture prophecy, and God s provi 
dence, as related in human histories. But I proceed. 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 245 

(3.) The third and last judgment of God on those ene 
mies of the success of the gospel which I shall mention, 
is the terrible destruction of their city and country by 
the Romans. They had great warnings and many 
means used with them before this destruction. First, 
John the Baptist warned them, arid told them, that the 
axe was laid at the root of the tree ; and that every tree 
which should not bring forth good fruit, should be hewn 
down and cast into the fire. Then Christ warned them 
very particularly, and told them of their approaching de 
struction, and at the thoughts of it wept over them. "And 
then the apostles after Christ s ascension abundantly 
warned them. But they proved obstinate, and went on 
in their opposition to Christ and his church, and in their 
bitter persecuting practices. Their so malignantly per 
secuting the Apostle Paul, of which we have an account 
towards the end of the Acts of the apostles, is supposed 
to have been not more than seven or eight years before 
their destruction. 

And after this God was pleased to give them one more 
very remarkable warning by the Apostle Paul, in his 
epistle to the Hebrews, which is an epistle written to that 
nation of the Jews, as is supposed, about four years be 
fore their destruction : wherein the plainest and clearest 
arguments are set before them from their own law, and 
from their prophets, for whom they professed such a re 
gard, to prove that Christ Jesus must be the Son of God, 
and that all their law pointed to him and typified him, 
and that their Jewish dispensation must needs have now 
ceased. For though the epistle was more immediately 
directed to the Christian Hebrews, yet the matter of the 
epistle plainly shows that the apostle intended it for the 
use and conviction of the unbelieving Jews, and in this 
epistle, he mentions particularly the approaching de 
struction, as chap. x. 25. " So much the more, as ye see 
the day approaching;" and in verse 27, he speaks of the 
approaching judgment and fiery indignation which 
should devour the adversaries. 

But the generality of them refusing to receive convic 
tion, God soon destroyed them with such terrible circum 
stances, as the destruction of no country or city since 
the foundation of the world can parallel ; agreeable to 
what Christ foretold, Matt. xxiv. 21. "For then shall be 
tribulation, such as was not from the beginning of the 
world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." The first de 
struction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians was very ter- 
21* 



246 A HISTORY OP THE 

rible, as it is in a most affecting manner described by the 
Prophet Jeremiah, in his Lamentations; but this was 
nothing to the dreadful misery and wrath which they 
suffered in this destruction ; God, according as Christ 
foretold, bringing on them all the righteous blood that 
had been shed from the foundation of the world. Thus 
the enemies of Christ are made his footstool after his as 
cension, agreeable to God s promise in Psal. ex. at the 
beginning; and Christ rules them with a rod of iron. 
They had been kicking against Christ, but they did but 
kick against the pricks. The briars and thorns set them 
selves against them in battle : but he went through them ; 
he bound them together. 

This destruction of Jerusalem was in all respects 
agreeable to what Christ had foretold of it, Matt. xxiv. by 
the account which Josephus gives of it, who was then 
present, and was one of the Jews, who had a share in 
the calamity, and wrote the history of their destruction. 
Many circumstances of this destruction resembled the 
destruction of the wicked at the day of judgment, by his 
account, being accompanied with many fearful sights in 
the heavens, and with a separation of the righteous from 
the wicked. Their city and temple were burnt, and 
rased to the ground, and the ground on which the city 
stood, was ploughed ; and so one stone was not left up 
on another, Matt. xxiv. 2. 

The people had ceased for the most part to be an in 
dependent government after the Babylonish captivity: 
but the sceptre entirely departed from Judah on the 
death of Archelaus; and then Judea was made a Roman 
province : after this they were cast off from being the 
people of God ; but now their very city and land are 
utterly destroyed, and they carried away from it ; and 
so have continued in their dispersions through the world 
for now above 1600 years. 

Thus there was a final end to the Old Testament 
world : all was finished with a kind of day of judgment, 
in which the people of God were saved, and his enemies 
terribly destroyed. Thus does he who was so lately 
mocked, despised, and spit upon by these Jews, and 
whose followers they so malignantly persecuted, appear 
gloriously exalted over his enemies. 

Having thus shown how the success of Christ s pur 
chase was carried on until the destruction of Jerusalem, 
I come now, 

II. To show how it was carried on from that time un 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 247 

til the destruction of the heathen empire in the time of 
Constantine the Great, which is the second great event 
which is in scripture compared to Christ s coming to 
judgment. 

Jerusalem was destroyed about the year of our Lord 
68, and so before that generation passed away which 
was contemporary with Christ ; and it was about thirty- 
five years after Christ s death. The destruction of the 
heathen empire under Constantine, was about 260 years 
after this. In showing how the success of the gospel 
was carried on through this time, I would, 1. Take notice 
of the opposition made against it by the Roman empire. 
2. How the work of the gospel went on, notwithstand 
ing all that opposition. 3. The peculiar circumstances 
of tribulation and distress that the church was in just 
before their deliverance by Constantine. 4. The great 
revolution in Constantine s time. 

1. I would briefly show what opposition was made 
against the gospel, and the kingdom of Christ, by the 
Roman empire. The opposition that was made to the 
gospel by the heathen Roman empire, was mainly after 
the destruction of Jerusalem, though their opposition be 
gan before ; but the opposition that was before the de 
struction of Jerusalem, was mainly by the Jews. But 
when Jerusalem was destroyed, the Jews were put out 
of a capacity of much troubling the church. Now there 
fore the devil turns his hand elsewhere, and uses other 
instruments. The opposition which was made in the 
Roman empire against the kingdom of Christ, was chiefly 
of two kinds. 

(1.) They employed all their learning, and philosophy, 
and wit, in opposing it. Christ came into the world in 
an age wherein learning and philosophy were at their 
height in the Roman empire. This was employed to the 
utmost against the kingdom of Christ. The gospel, 
which held forth a crucified Saviour, was not at all 
agreeable to the notions of the philosophers. The Chris 
tian scheme of trusting in such a crucified Redeemer, 
appeared foolish and ridiculous to them. Greece was a 
country the most famous for learning of any in the Ro 
man empire; but the apostle observes, that the doctrine 
of Christ crucified appeared foolishness to the Greeks, 1 
Cor. i. 23. and therefore the wise men and philosophers 
opposed the gospel with all the wit they had. We have 
a specimen of their manner of opposing, in the story we 
have of their treatment of the Apostle Paul at Athens, 



248 A HISTORY OP THE 

which was a city that had been for many ages the chief 
seat of philosophers of any in the whole world. We read 
in Acts xvii. 18. that the philosophers of the Epicureans 
and Stoics encountered him, saying, "What will this 
babbler say] He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange 
gods." So they were wont to deride and ridicule Chris 
tianity. And after the destruction of Jerusalem, several 
of these philosophers published books against it; the 
chief of whom were Celsus and Porphyry. These wrote 
books against the Christian religion with a great deal of 
virulence and contempt, much after the manner that the 
Deists of the present age oppose and ridicule Christian 
ity. Something of their writings yet remains. As great 
enemies and despisers as they were of the Christian reli 
gion, yet they never denied the facts recorded of Christ 
and his apostles in the New Testament, particularly the 
miracles which they wrought, but allowed them. They 
lived too near the times wherein these miracles were 
wrought to deny them ; for they were so publicly done, 
and so lately, that neither Jews nor heathens in those 
days appeared to deny them; but they ascribed them to 
the power of magic. 

(2.) The authority of the Roman empire employed all 
their strength, time after time, to persecute, and if pos 
sible to root out Christianity. This they did in ten gen 
eral successive persecutions. We have heretofore ob 
served, that Christ came into the world when the strength 
of heathen dominion and authority was the greatest that 
ever it was under the Roman monarchy, the greatest 
and strongest human monarchy that ever was on earth. 
All the strength of this monarchy was employed for a 
long time to oppose and persecute the Christian church, 
and if possible to destroy it, in ten successive attempts, 
which are called the ten heathen persecutions, which 
were before Constantine. 

The first of these, which was the persecution under 
Nero, was a little before the destruction of Jerusalem, in 
which the Apostle Peter was crucified, and the Apostle 
Paul beheaded, soon after he wrote his second epistle to 
Timothy. When he wrote that epistle, he was a prison 
er at Rome under Nero, and was soon after he wrote it 
beheaded, agreeable to what he says, chap. iv. 6, 7. " 1 
am now ready to be offered, and the time of my depar 
ture is at hand. 1 have fought a good fight, I have 
finished my course, I have kept the faith." And there 
were many thousands of other Christians slain in that 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 249 

persecution. The other nine persecutions were all after 
the destruction of Jerusalem. Some of these were very 
terrible indeed, and far exceeded the first persecution 
under Nero. One emperor after another set himself 
with the utmost rage to root out the Christian church 
from the earth, that there should not be so much as the 
name of Christian left in the world. And thousands and 
millions were put to cruel deaths in these persecutions ; 
for they spared neither sex nor age, but killed them as 
fast as they could. 

Under the second general persecution, that which was 
next after the destruction of Jerusalem, the Apostle John 
was banished to the isle of Patmos, where he had those 
visions of which he has given an account in the Revela 
tion. Under that persecution it was reckoned, that 
about 40,000 suffered martyrdom ; which yet was no 
thing to what were put to death under some succeeding 
persecutions. Ten thousand suffered that one kind of 
cruel death, crucifixion, in the third persecution under 
the Emperor Adrian. Under the fourth persecution, 
which began about the year of Christ 162, many suffered 
martyrdom in England, the land of our forefathers, where 
Christianity had been planted very early, and, as is sup 
posed, in the days of the apostles. And in the later per 
secutions, the Roman emperors being vexed at the frus 
tration of their predecessors, who were not able to ex 
tirpate Christianity or hinder its progress, were enraged 
to be the more violent, in their attempts. 

Thus a great part of the first 300 years after Christ 
was spent in violent and cruel persecutions of the church 
by the Roman powers. Satan was very unwilling to let 
go his hold of so great a part of the world, and every 
way the chief part of it, as the countries contained in the 
Roman empire were, of which he had had quiet posses 
sion for so many ages: and therefore, when he saw it 
going so fast out of his hands, he bestirred himself to his 
utmost : all hell was, as it were, raised against it to op 
pose it with its utmost power. 

Satan thus exerting himself by the power of the hea 
then Roman empire, is called the great red dragon in 
scripture, having seven heads and ten horns, fighting 
against the woman clothed with the sun, as in the 12th 
of Revelation. And the terrible conflict there was be 
tween the church of Christ, and the powers of the hea 
then empire before Constantine s time, is there, in ver. 7, 
represented by the war between Michael and his angels, 



250 A HISTORY OF THE 

and the dragon and his angels : " And there was war in 
heaven ; and Michael and his angels fought, and the 
dragon fought and his angels." 

2. I would take notice of what success the gospel had 
in the world before the time of Constantine, notwith 
standing all this opposition. Though the learning and 
power of the Roman empire were so great, and" both 
were employed to the utmost against Christianity to put 
a stop to it, and to root it out for so long a time, and in 
so many repeated attempts ; yet all was in vain ; they 
could neither root it out, nor put a stop to it. But still, 
in spite of all that they could do, the kingdom of Christ 
wonderfully prevailed, and Satan s heathen kingdom 
mouldered and consumed away before it, agreeable to 
the words of the text, " The mo th shall eat them up like 
a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool." And 
it was very observable, that for the most part the more 
they persecuted the church, the more it increased ; inso 
much that it became a common saying, The blood of the 
martyrs is the seed of the church. Herein the church of 
Christ proved to be like a palm tree ; of which tree it is 
remarked, that the greater weight is laid upon it, or hung 
to its branches, the more it grows and flourishes ; on 
which account probably the church is compared to a 
palm tree in Cant. vii. 7. " This thy stature is like to a 
palm tree." Justin Martyr, an eminent father in the 
Christian church, who lived in the age next after the 
apostles, in some writings of his, which are yet extant, 
says, that in his days there was no part of mankind, 
whether Greeks or barbarians, or by what name soever 
they were called, even the most rude and unpolished na 
tions, where prayers and thanksgivings were not made 
to the great Creator of the world, through the name of 
the crucified Jesus. Tertullian, another eminent father 
in the Christian church, who lived in the beginning of 
the following age, in some of his writings which are yet 
extant, sets forth how that in his day the Christian reli 
gion had extended itself to the utmost bounds of the then 
known world, in which he reckons Britain, the country 
of our forefathers ; and thence demonstrates, that the 
kingdom of Christ was then more extensive than any of 
the four great monarchies; and moreover says, that 
though the Christians were as strangers of no long 
standing, yet they had filled all places of the Roman do 
minions, their cities, islands, castles, corporations, coun 
cils, armies, tribes, the palace, senate, and courts of judi- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 251 

cature; only they had left to the heathen their temples ; 
and that if they should all agree to retire out of the Ro 
man empire, the world would be amazed at the solitude 
and desolation that would ensue upon it, there would be 
so few left ; and that the Christians were enough to be 
able easily to defend themselves, if they were disposed 
to rise up in arms against the heathen magistrates. 
And Pliny, a heathen who lived in those days, says, mul 
titudes of each sex, every age and quality, were become 
Christians. This superstition, says he, having infected 
and overrun not the city only, but towns and countries, 
the temples and sacrifices are generally desolate arid for 
saken. 

And it was remarked by both heathen and Christian 
writers in those days, that the famous heathen oracles in 
their temples, where princes and others for many past 
ages had been wont to inquire and receive answers with 
an audible voice from their gods, which were indeed 
answers from the devil ; I say, those oracles were now 
silenced and struck dumb, and gave no more answers : 
and particularly the oracle at Delphos, which was the 
most famous heathen oracle in the whole world, which 
both Greeks and Romans used to consult, began to cease 
to give any answers, even from the birth of Christ: and 
the false deity who was worshipped, and used to give 
answers from his oracle in that temple, being once in 
quired of, Why he did not now give answers as he was 
wont to do? made this reply, as several heathen histo 
rians who Jived about those times relate, There is an 
Hebrew boy, says he, who is king of the gods, who has 
commanded me to leave this house, and be gone to hell, 
and therefore you are to expect no more answers. And 
many of the heathen writers who lived about that time, 
speak much of the oracles being silenced, as a thing at 
which they wondered, not knowing what the cause 
should be. Plutarch, a heathen writer of those times, 
wrote a particular treatise about it, which is still extant. 
And Porphyry, one of the heathen writers before men 
tioned, who opposed the Christian religion, in his writ 
ings has these words : " it is no wonder if the city for 
these so many years has been overrun with sickness : 
Esculapius, and the rest of the gods, having withdrawn 
their converse with men: for since Jesus began to be 
worshipped, no man has received any public help or 
benefit by the gods." 



252 A HISTORY OF THE 

Thus did the kingdom of Christ prevail against the 
kingdom of Satan. 

3. I now proceed to take notice of the peculiar circum 
stances of tribulation and distress just before Constan- 
tine the Great came to the throne. This distress they 
suffered under the tenth heathen persecution, which, as 
it was the last, so it was by far the heaviest, and most 
severe. The church before this, after the ceasing of the 
ninth persecution, had enjoyed a time of quietness for 
about forty years together; but, abusing their liberty, 
began to grow cold and lifeless in religion, and carnal 
contentions prevailed among them; by which they 
offended God to suffer this dreadful trial to come upon 
them. And Satan having lost ground so much, notwith 
standing all his attempts, now seemed to bestir himself 
with more than ordinary rage. Those who were then 
in authority set themselves with the utmost violence to 
root out Christianity, by burning all Bibles, and destroy 
ing all Christians ; and therefore they did not stand to 
try or convict them in a formal process, but fell upon 
them wherever they could; sometimes setting fire to 
houses where multitudes of them were assembled, and 
burning them all together; and at other times slaughter 
ing multitudes together- so that sometimes their persecu 
tors were quite spent with the labour of killing and torment 
ing them ; and in some populous places, so many were 
slain together, that the blood ran like torrents. It is 
related, that seventeen thousand martyrs were slain in 
one month s time; and that during the continuance of 
this persecution, in the province of Egypt alone, no less 
than 144,000 Christians died by the violence of their per 
secutors, besides 700,000 that died through the fatigues 
of banishment, or the public works to which they were 
condemned. 

This persecution lasted for ten years together; and as 
it exceeded all foregoing persecutions in the number of 
martyrs, so it exceeded them in the variety and multi 
tude of inventions of torture and cruelty. Some authors 
who lived at that time, say, they were innumerable, and 
exceed all account and expression. 

This persecution in particular was very severe in 
England; and this is that persecution which was fore 
told in Rev. vi. 9, 10. "And when he had opened the 
fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that 
were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony 
which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. v ^ 

saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost them not 
judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell en the 
earth ?" 

And at the end of the ten years during which this per 
secution continued, the heathen persecutors thought they 
had finished their work, and boasted that they had ut 
terly destroyed the name and superstition of the Chris 
tians, and had restored and propagated the worship of 
the gods. 

Thus it was the darkest time with the Christian church 
just before the break of day. They were brought to the 
greatest extremity just before God appeared for their 
glorious deliverance, as the bondage of the Israelites 
in Egypt was the most severe and cruel, just before 
their deliverance by the hand of Moses. Their enemies 
thought they had swallowed them up just before their 
destruction, as it was with Pharaoh and his host, when 
they had hemmed in the children of Israel at the Red 
Sea. 

4. I come now, in the fourth place, to the great revo 
lution which was in the world in the days of Constan- 
tine, which was in many respects like Christ s appearing 
in the clouds of heaven to save his people, and judge the 
world. The people of Rome being weary of the gov 
ernment of those tyrants to whom they had lately been 
subject, sent to Constantine, who was then in the city 
of York in England, to come and take the throne. And 
he being encouraged, as is said, by a vision of a pillar 
of light in the heavens, in the form of a cross, in the sight 
of his whole army, with this inscription, TO V vuca, In this 
overcome ; and the night following, by Christ s appear 
ing to him in a dream with the same cross in his hand, 
who directed him to make a cross like that to be his 
royal standard, that his army might fight under that 
banner, and assured him that he should overcome; ac 
cordingly he did, and overcame his enemies, and took 
possession of the Imperial throne, and embraced the 
Christian religion, and was the first Christian emperor 
that ever reigned. He came to the throne about 320 
years after Christ. There are several things which I 
would take notice of which attended or immediately fol 
lowed Constantine s coming to the throne. 

(I.) The Christian church was thereby wholly deliver 
ed from persecution. Now the day of her deliverance 
came after such a dark night of affliction : weeping had 
continued for a night, but now deliverance and joy came 
22 



254 A HISTORY OF THE 

in the morning. Now God appeared to judge nis peo 
ple, and repented himself for his servants, when he saw 
their power was gone, and that there was none shut up 
or left. Christians had no persecutions now to fear. 
Their persecutors now were all put down, and their 
rulers were some of them Christians like themselves. 

(2.) God now appeared to execute terrible judgments 
on their enemies. Remarkable are the accounts which 
history gives us of the fearful ends to which the heathen 
emperors, and princes, and generals, and captains, and 
other great men came, who had exerted themselves in 
persecuting the Christians; dying miserably, one and 
another, under exquisite torments of body, and horrors 
of conscience, with a most visible hand of God upon 
them. So that what now came to pass might very fitly 
be compared to their hiding themselves in the dens and 
rocks of the mountains. 

(3.) Heathenism now was in a great measure abolish 
ed throughout the Roman empire. Images were now 
destroyed, and heathen temples pulled down. Images 
of gold and silver were melted down, and coined into 
money. Some of the chief of their idols, which were 
curiously wrought, were brought to Constantinople, and 
there drawn with ropes up and down the streets for the 
people to behold and laugh at. The heathen priests 
were dispersed and banished. 

(4.) The Christian church was brought into a state of 
great peace and prosperity. Now all heathen magis 
trates were put down, and only Christians were advanc 
ed to places of authority all over the empire. They had 
now Christian presidents, Christian governors, Chris 
tian judges and officers, instead of their old heathenish 
ones. Constantine set himself to put honour upon 
Christian bishops or ministers, and to build and adorn 
churches; and now large and beautiful Christian churches 
were erected in all parts of the world, instead of the old 
heathen temples. 

This revolution was the greatest revolution and change 
in the face of things that ever came to pass in the world 
since the flood. Satan, the prince of darkness, that king 
and god of the heathen world, was cast out. The roar 
ing lion was conquered by the Lamb of God, in the 
strongest dominion that ever he had, even the Roman 
empire. This was a remarkable accomplishment of Jer. 
x. 11. " The gods that have not made the heavens and 
the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 255 

under these heavens." The chief part of the world was 
now brought utterly to cast off their old gods and their 
old religion, to which they had been accustomed much 
longer than any of their histories give an account of. 
They had been accustomed to worship the gods so long, 
that they knew not any beginning of it. It was formerly 
spoken of as a thing unknown for a nation to change 
their gods, Jer. ii. 10, 11. but now the greater part of the 
nations of the known world were brought to cast off all 
their former gods. That multitude of gods that they 
worshipped were all forsaken. Thousands of them were 
cast away for the worship of the true God, and Christ 
the only Saviour: and there was a most remarkable 
fulfilment of that in Isa. ii. 17, 18. "And the loftiness of 
man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men 
shall be made low : and the Lord alone shall be exalted 
in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish." 
And since that, it has come to pass, that those gods that 
were once so famous in the world, as Jupiter, and Sa 
turn, and Minerva, and Juno, &c. are only heard of as 
things which were of old. They have no temples, no 
altars, no worshippers, and have not had for many hun 
dred years. 

Now is come the end of the old heathen world in the 
principal part of it, the Roman empire. And this great 
revolution and change of the state of the world, with 
that terrible destruction of the great men who had been 
persecutors, is compared, in Rev. vi. to the end of the 
world, and Christ s coming to judgment ; and is what is 
most immediately signified under the sixth seal, which 
followed upon the souls under the altar crying, "How 
long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not avenge our 
blood on them that dwell on the earth?" This vision of 
the sixth seal, by the general consent of divines and ex 
positors, has respect to this downfall of the heathen Ro 
man empire ; though it has a more remote respect to the 
day of judgment, or this was a type of it. The day of 
judgment cannot be what is immediately intended ; be 
cause we have an account of many events which were 
to come to pass under the seventh seal, and so were to 
follow after those of the sixth seal. 

What came to pass now is also represented by the 
devil s being cast out of heaven to the earth. In his 
great strength and glory, in that mighty Roman empire, 
He had as it were exalted his throne up to heaven. But 
now he fell like lightning from heaven, and was confined 



256 A HISTORY OF THE 

to the earth. His kingdom was confined to the meaner 
and more barbarous nations, or to the lower parts of the 
world of mankind. This is the event foretold, Rev. xii. 
9. &c. " And the great dragon was cast out, that old 
serpent, called the devil and Satan, which deceiveth the 
whole world : he was cast out into the earth, and his 
angels were cast out with him," &c. Satan tempted 
Christ, and promised to give him the glory of the king 
doms of the world; but now he is obliged to give it to 
him even against his will. This was a glorious fulfil 
ment of that promise which God made to his Son, that 
we have an account of in Isa. liii. 12. " Therefore will I 
divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide 
the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his 
soul unto death : and he was numbered with the trans 
gressors, and he bare the sin of many, and made inter 
cession for the transgressors." This was a great fulfil 
ment of the prophecies of the Old Testament concerning 
the glorious time of the gospel, and particularly of the 
prophecies of Daniel. Now the kingdom of heaven is 
come in a glorious degree. It pleased the Lord God of 
heaven to set up a kingdom on the ruins of Satan s king 
dom. And such success is there of the purchase of 
Christ s redemption, and such honour does the Father 
put upon Christ for the disgrace he suffered when on 
earth. And now see to what a height that glorious 
building is erected, which had been building ever since 
the fall. 

Inference. From what has been said of the success 
of the gospel from Christ s ascension to the time of Con- 
stantine, we may deduce a strong argument of the truth 
of the Christian religion, and that the gospel of Jesus 
Christ is really from God. This wonderful success of it 
which has been spoken of, and the circumstances of it 
which have been mentioned, are a strong argument of it 
several ways. 

1. We may gather from what has been said, that it is 
the gospel, and that only, which has actually been the 
means of bringing the world to the knowledge of the 
true God. That those are no gods whom the heathen 
worshipped, and that there is but one only God, is what, 
now since the gospel has so taught us, we can see to be 
truth by our own reason : it is ^plainly agreeable to the 
light of nature : it can be easily shown by reason to be 
demonstrably true. The very Deists themselves ac 
knowledge, that it can be demonstrated, that there is one 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 257 

God, and but one, who has made and governs the world. 
But now it is evident that it is the gospel, and that only, 
which has actually been the means of bringing men to 
the knowledge of this truth. It was not the instructions 
of philosophers. They tried in vain : " the world by 
wisdom knew not God." Until the gospel and the holy 
scriptures came abroad in the world, all the world lay in 
ignorance of the true God, and in the greatest darkness 
with respect to the things of religion, embracing the 
absurdest opinions and practices, which all civilized 
nations now acknowledge to be childish fooleries. And 
so they lay one age after another, and nothing proved 
effectual to enlighten them. The light of nature, and 
their own reason, and all the wisdom of learned men, 
signified nothing until the scriptures came. But when 
these came abroad, they were successful to bring the 
world to an acknowledgment of the one only true God, 
and to worship and serve him. 

And hence it is that all that part of the world which 
now does own one only true God, Christians, Jews, Ma 
hometans, and even Deists too, originally came by the 
knowledge of him. It is owing to this that they are not 
in general at this day left in heathenish darkness. They 
have it all, first of all, either immediately from the scrip 
tures, or by tradition from their fathers, who had it first 
from the scriptures. And doubtless those who now 
despise the scriptures, and boast of the strength of their 
own reason, as being sufficient to lead into the know 
ledge of the one true God, if the gospel had never come 
abroad in the world to enlighten their forefathers, would 
have been as sottish and brutish idolaters as the world 
in general was before the gospel came abroad. The 
Mahometans, who own but one true God, at first bor 
rowed the notion from the scriptures : for the first Ma 
hometans had been educated in the Christian religion, 
and apostatized from it. And this is evidential, that the 
scriptures were designed of God to be the proper means 
to bring the world to the knowledge of himself, rather 
than human reason, or any thing else. For it is unrea 
sonable to suppose, that the gospel, and that only, which 
God never designed as the proper mean for obtaining 
this effect, should actually obtain it, and that after hu 
man reason, which he designed as the proper mean, had 
been tried for a great many ages without any effect. If 
the scriptures be not the word of God, then they are 
22* 



258 A HISTORY OF THE 

nothing but darkness and delusion, yea, the greatest 
delusion that ever was. Now, Is it reasonable to sup 
pose, that God in his providence would make use of false 
hood and delusion, and that only, to bring the world to 
the knowledge of himself, and that no part of it should 
be brought to the knowledge of him any other way] 

2. The gospel s prevailing as it did against such pow 
erful opposition, plainly shows the hand of God. The 
Roman government, that did so violently set itself to 
hinder the success of the gospel, and to subdue the 
church of Christ, was the most powerful human govern 
ment that ever was in the world ; and not only so, but 
they seemed as it were to have the church in their hands. 
The Christians were mostly their subjects, under their 
command, and never took up arms to defend themselves- 
they did not gather together, and stand in their own de 
fence; they armed themselves with nothing but patience, 
and such like spiritual weapons: and yet this mighty 
power could not conquer them; but, on the contrary, 
Christianity conquered them. The Roman empire had 
subdued the world ; they had subdued many mighty and 
potent kingdoms ; they subdued the Grecian monarchy, 
when they were not their subjects, and made the utmost 
resistance : and yet they could not conquer the church 
which was in their hands; but, on the contrary, were 
subdued, and finally triumphed over by the church. 

3. No other sufficient cause can possibly be assigned 
of this propagation of the gospel, but only God s own 
power. Nothing else can be devised as the reason of it 
but this. There was certainly some reason. Here was 
a great and wonderful effect, the most remarkable 
change that ever was in the face of the world of man 
kind since the flood ; and this effect was not without 
some cause. Now, what other cause can be devised 
but only the divine power? It was not the outward 
strength of the instruments which were employed in it. 
At first, the gospel was preached only by a few fisher 
men, who were without power and wordly interest to 
support them. It was not their craft and policy that 
produced this wonderful effect; for they were poor illit 
erate men. It was not the agreeableness of the story 
they had to tell to the notions and principles of mankind. 
This was no pleasant fable: a crucified God and Sa 
viour was to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the 
Greeks foolishness. It was not the agreeableness of 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 259 

their doctrines to the dispositions of men : for nothing is 
more contrary to the corruptions of men than the pure 
doctrines of the gospel. This effect therefore can have 
proceeded from no other cause than the power and 
agency of God: and if it was the power of God that was 
exercised to cause the gospel to prevail, then the gospel 
is his word ; for surely God does not use his almighty 
power to promote a mere imposture and delusion. 

4. This success is agreeable to what Christ and his 
apostles foretold. Matt. xvi. 18. "Upon this rock will I 
build my church : and the gates of hell shall not prevail 
against it." John xii. 24. " Verily verily I say unto you, 
Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground, and die, it 
abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." 
And ver. 31, 32. "Now is the judgment of this world: 
now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if 
I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto 
me." John xvi. 8. " When he (the comforter) is come, he 
will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of 
judgment because the prince of this world is judged." 

So the Apostle Paul, in 1 Cor. chap. i. 2128. declares, 
how that after the world by wisdom knew not God, it 
pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save 
them that believe ; and that God chose the foolish things 
of the world, to confound the wise; and weak things of 
the world, to confound the things which are mighty ; 
and base things of the world, and things which are de 
spised, yea and things which are not, to bring to nought 
things that are." If any man foretells a thing, very likely 
in itself to come to pass, from causes which can be fore 
seen, it is no great argument of a revelation from God: 
but when a thing is foretold which is very unlikely ever 
to come to pass, is entirely contrary to the common 
course of things, and yet it does come to pass just agree 
able to the prediction, this is a strong argument that the 
prediction was from God. 

Thus the consideration of the manner of the propaga 
tion and success of the gospel during the time which has 
been spoken of, affords great evidence that the scriptures 
are the word of God. 

III. I am now to show how the success of Christ s re 
demption is carried on from the time of the overthrow 
of the heathen Roman empire in the time of Constantine 
the Great, until the fall of Antichrist, and the destruction 
of Satan s visible kingdom on earth, which is the third 
great dispensation which is in scripture compared to 



260 A HISTORY OF THE 

Christ s coming to judgment. This is a period wherein 
many great and wonderful things are brought to pass. 
Herein is contained a long series of wonders of divine 
providence towards the Christian church. The greater 
part of the book of Revelation is taken up in foretelling 
the events of this period. 

The success of Christ s purchase of redemption in this 
period, appears mainly at the close of it, when Anti 
christ comes to fall, when there will be a far more glo 
rious success of the gospel than ever was before ; and 
that long series of events which are before, seem to be 
only to prepare the way for it. And in order to a more 
clear view of the great works of God in accomplishing 
the success of Christ s redemption, and our seeing the 
glory of them, it will be necessary, as we have done in 
the foregoing periods, to consider not only the success 
itself, but the opposition made to it, and the great works 
of Satan in this period against the church and kingdom 
of Christ: and therefore, in taking a view of this period, 
I would take notice of events which may be referred to 
either of these heads, viz. either to the head of Satan s 
opposition to the success of Christ s redemption, or to 
the head of the success of Christ s redemption : and for 
the more orderly consideration of the events of this 
period, I would divide it into these four parts : the first 
reaching from the destruction of the heathen empire to 
the rise of Antichrist; the second, from the rise of Anti 
christ to the reformation in Luther s time; the third, 
from thence to the present time ; the fourth, from the 
present time, until Antichrist is fallen, and Satan s visible 
kingdom on earth is destroyed. 

1st. I would consider the events of the first part of 
this period, reaching from the destruction of the heathen 
empire to the rise of Antichrist. And here, first, I would 
take notice of the opposition of Satan made in this space 
of time to the church : and, secondly, the success that 
the gospel had in it. 

l.^The opposition. Satan being cast out of his old 
heathen empire, the great red dragon, after so sore a 
conflict with Michael and his angels for the greater part 
of three hundred years, being at last entirely routed and 
vanquished, so that no place was found any more in 
heaven for him, but he was cast down, as it were, from 
heaven to the earth ; yet does not give over his opposi 
tion to the woman, the church of Christ, concerning 
which all this conflict had been. But he is still in a rage, 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 261 

and renews his attempts, and has recourse to new de 
vices against the church. The serpent, after he is cast 
out of heaven to the earth, casts out of his mouth water 
as a flood, to cause the woman to be carried away of the 
flood. The opposition that he made to the church of Christ 
before the rise of Antichrist, was principally of two sorts. 
Jt was either by corrupting the church of Christ with 
heresies, or by new endeavours to restore Paganism. 

(1.) I would observe, that after the destruction of the 
heathen Roman empire, Satan infested the church with 
heresies. Though there has been so glorious a work of 
God in delivering the church from her heathen persecu 
tors, and overthrowing the heathen empire ; yet the days 
of the church s travail not being ended, and the set time 
of her prosperity not being yet come, as being what was 
to succeed the fall of Antichrist, therefore the peace and 
prosperity which the church enjoyed in Constantine s 
time, was but very short : it was a respite, which gave 
the church a time of peace and silence, as it were, for 
half an hour, wherein the four angels held the four winds 
from blowing, until the servants of God should be sealed 
in their foreheads. But the church soon began to be 
greatly infested with heresies. The two principal, and 
those which did most infest the church, were the Arian 
and Pelagian heresies. 

The Arians began soon after Constantine came to the 
throne. They denied the doctrine of the. Trinity, and 
the divinity of Christ and the Holy Ghost, and maintained, 
that they were but mere creatures. This heresy in 
creased more and more in the church, and prevailed like 
a flood, which threatened to overflow all, and entirely to 
carry away the church, insomuch that before that age 
was out, that is, before the fourth century after Christ 
was finished, the greater part of the Christian church 
were become Arians. There were some emperors, the 
successors of Constantine, who were Arians; so that the 
Arians being the prevailing party, and having the civil 
authority on their side, did raise a great persecution 
against the true church of Christ ; so that this heresy 
might well be compared to a flood out of the mouth of 
the serpent, which threatened to overthrow all, and quite 
carry away the woman. 

The Pelagian heresy arose in the beginning of the 
next century. It began by one Pelagius, who was borr 
in Britain: his British name was Morgan. He deniec! 
original sin, and the influence of the Spirit of God in con 



262 A HISTORY OF THE 

version, and held the power of free will, and many other 
things of like tendency ; and this heresy did for a while 
greatly infest the church. Pelagius s principal antago 
nist, who wrote in defence of the orthodox faith, was 
Augustin. 

(2.) The other kind of opposition which Satan made 
against the church, was in his endeavours to restore 
Paganism. And his first attempt to restore it in the Ro 
man empire, was by Julian the apostate. Julian was 
nephew to Constantine the Great. When Constantine 
died, he left his empire to his three sons ; and when they 
were dead, Julian the apostate reigned in their stead. 
He had been a professed Christian; but he fell from 
Christianity, and turned Pagan ; and therefore is called 
the apostate. When he came to the throne, he used his 
utmost endeavours to overthrow the Christian church, 
and set up Paganism again in the empire. He put down 
the Christian magistrates, and set up heathens in their 
room : he rebuilt the heathen temples, and set up the 
heathen worship in the empire, and became a most no 
torious persecutor of the Christians, and, as is thought, 
against his own light: he used to call Christ, by way of 
of reproach, the Galilean. He was killed with a lance in 
his wars with the Persians. When he saw that he was 
mortally wounded, he took a handful of his blood, and 
threw it up towards heaven, crying out, Thou hast over 
come, O Galilean. And he is commonly thought by di 
vines to have committed the unpardonable sin. 

Another way that Satan attempted to restore Pagan 
ism in the Roman empire, was by the invasions and con 
quests of heathen nations. For in this space of time that 
we are upon, the Goths and Vandals, and other heathen 
barbarous nations, that dwelt in the north of the Roman 
empire, invaded the empire, and obtained great con 
quests, and even overran the empire, and in the fifth 
century took the city of Rome, and finally subdued and 
conquered, and took possession of the Western empire, 
as it was called, or the western half of the empire, and 
divided it amongst them; divided it into ten kingdoms, 
with which began the ten horns of the beast ; for we are 
told, that the ten horns are ten kings, who should rise in 
the latter part of the Roman empire : these are also re 
presented by the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar s image. 
The invasion and conquests of these heathen nations are 
supposed to be foretold in the 8th chapter of Revelation, 
in what came to pass under the sounding of the first four 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 263 

trumpets. Now these nations, who now took possession 
of the Western empire, were heathens; so that by their 
means heathenism was again for a while restored after 
it had been rooted out. 

So much for the opposition of Satan against the suc 
cess of the gospel during this space before the rise of An 
tichrist. I proceed, 

2. To show what success there was of the gospel in 
this space, notwithstanding this opposition. 

(1.) I would observe, that the opposition of Satan in 
those things was baffled. Though the dragon cast out 
of his mouth such a flood after the woman to carry her 
away, yet he could not obtain his design; but the earth 
helped the woman, and opened her mouth, and swallow 
ed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 
These heresies, which for a while so much prevailed, yet 
after a while dwindled away, and orthodoxy was again 
restored: and his attempt by Julian was baffled at his 
death. 

(2.) The gospel, during this space of time, was further 
propagated amongst many barbarous heathen nations 
in the confines of the Roman empire. In the time of 
Constantine there was a considerable propagation of the 
gospel in the East Indies, chiefly by the ministry of one 
Frumentius. Great numbers of the Iberians, an heathen 
people, were converted to Christianity by a Christian 
woman of eminent piety, whom they had taken captive. 
And some account is given of several other barbarous 
nations who were not within the Roman empire, that 
great numbers of them were brought to receive the gos 
pel by the teaching and. examples of captives whom they 
had taken in war. And after this, about the year of 
Christ 372, the gospel was propagated among the bar 
barous people that dwelt in Arabia; as it was also 
among some of the northern nations ; particularly a 
prince of the country of the Goths about this time be 
came Christian, and a great number of his people with 
him. Towards the latter end of this century, the gos 
pel was also further propagated among the Persians, and 
also the Scythians, a barbarous people, that the apostle 
mentions in Col. iii. 11. "Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor 
free." 

And after this, about the year 430, there was a remark 
able conversion of a heathen people, called the Burgun- 
dians, to the Christian faith. About the same time, in 
this age, the gospel began to be propagated in Ireland ; 



264 A HISTORY OF THE 

and the Irish, who until now had been heathen, began to 
receive the Christian faith. About the same time it was 
further propagated among some barbarous people in 
Scotland, and also in some other places. In the next 
century to this, one Zathus, a heathen king, who ruled 
over a people called the Colchians, was brought to re 
nounce his heathenism, and to embrace the Christian 
religion. Several other barbarous nations are recorded 
to have renounced heathenism and embraced Christian 
ity about this time, that I cannot stand to mention. 

Thus I have briefly considered the principal events of 
providence which concern the success of the gospel of 
Christ from Constantine to the rise of Antichrist. 

2dly, I come now to the second part of the time from 
Constantine to the destruction of Antichrist, viz. that 
which reaches from the rise of Antichrist to the Reforma 
tion by Luther and others. And this is the darkest and 
most dismal day that ever the Christian church saw, and 
probably the darkest that ever it will see. The time of 
the church s affliction and persecution, as was observed 
before, is from Christ s resurrection until the destruction 
of Antichrist, excepting what the day is, as it were, 
shortened by some intermissions and times of respite, 
which God gives for the elect s sake. But this time, 
from the rise of Antichrist until the Reformation, was a 
space wherein the Christian church was in its greatest 
depth of depression, and its darkest time of all. The 
true church in this space was for many hundred years 
in a state of great obscurity, like the woman in the wild 
erness: indeed she was almost hid from sight and ob 
servation. In speaking of the events of this space of 
time, I would, 1. Take notice of the great machinations 
and works of the devil against the kingdom of Christ 
during this time; 2. How the church of Christ was up 
held during this time. 

I. I would take notice of the great works of the devil 
against the kingdom of Christ during this time. Satan 
had done great things against the Christian church be 
fore, but had been baffled once and again. Michael and 
his angels had obtained a glorious victory. How terri 
ble was his opposition during the continuance of the hea 
then empire; and how glorious was Christ s victory and 
triumph over him in the time of Constantine ! It pleased 
God now to prepare the way for a yet more glorious vic 
tory over him, to suffer him to renew his strength, and 
to do the utmost that his power and subtilty can help him 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 2G5 

to ; and therefore he suffers him to have a long time to 
lay his schemes, and to establish his interest, and make 
his matters strong; and suffers him to carry his designs 
a great length indeed, almost to the swallowing up of his 
church ; and to exercise a high, and proud, and almost 
uncontrolled dominion in the world, a long time before 
Christ finally conquers, and subdues, and utterly ruins 
his visible kingdom on earth, as he will do in the time of 
the destruction of Antichrist: thus gloriously triumphing 
over him after he has done the utmost that his power 
and subtilty can extend to, and showing that he is above 
him, after he has dealt most proudly, and lifted himself 
highest of all. 

The two great works of the devil which he in this 
space of time wrought against the kingdom of Christ, 
are his creating his Antichristian and Mahometan king 
doms, which have been, and still are, two kingdoms, of 
great extent and strength, both together swallowing up 
the ancient Roman empire ; the kingdom of Antichrist 
swallowing up the Western empire, and Satan s Ma- 
.hometan kingdom the Eastern empire. As the scrip 
tures in the book of Revelation represent it, it is in the 
destruction of these that the glorious victory of Christ, 
at the introduction of the glorious times of the church, 
will mainly consist. And here let us briefly observe how 
Satan erects and maintains these two great kingdoms 
of his in opposition to the kingdom of Christ. 

(1.) With respect to the kingdom of Antichrist. This 
seems to be the master-piece of all the contrivances of 
the devil against the kingdom of Christ, and is evidently 
so spoken of in scripture, and therefore Antichrist is the 
man of sin, or that man of sin, 2 Thess. ii. 3. He is so 
called emphatically, as though he were so eminently. 
So he is called Antichrist, which signifies the opponent 
or adversary of Christ. Not that he is the only oppo 
nent of Christ; there were many others besides him. 
The Apostle John observes, that in his days there were 
many Antichrists. But yet this is called the Antichrist, 
as though there were none but he, because he was so 
eminently, arid above all others. So this contrivance of 
the devil, is called the mystery of iniquity, 2 Thess. ii. 7. 
And we find no enemy of Christ one half so much spo 
ken of in the prophecies of Revelation as this ; and 
the destruction of no enemy is spoken of as so glorious 
and happy for the church. The craft and subtilty of the 
xievil, above all appears in this work of his ; as might 
23 



26G A HISTORY OF THE 

be shown, were it not that it would consume loo much 
time. 

This is a contrivance of the devil to turn the ministry 
of the Christian church into a ministry of the devil, and 
to turn these angels of the churches into fallen angels, 
and so into devils. And in the tyranny, and supersti 
tion, and idolatry, and persecution, which he sets up, he 
contrives to make an image of ancient Paganism, and 
more than to restore what was lost in the empire by the 
overthrow of Paganism in the time of Constantine : so 
that by these means the head of the beast, which was 
wounded unto death in Constantine, has his deadly 
wound healed in Antichrist, Rev. xiii. 3. And the dra 
gon, that formerly reigned in the heathen Roman em 
pire, being cast out thence, after the beast with seven 
heads and ten horns rises up out of the sea, gives him 
his power, and seat, and great authority; and all the 
world wonders after the beast. 

I am far from pretending to determine the time when 
the reign of Antichrist began, which is a point that has 
been so much controverted among divines and expositors. 
It is certain that the 1260 days, or years, which are so 
often in scripture mentioned as the time of the continu 
ance of Antichrist s reign, did not commence before the 
year of Christ 479 ; because if they did, they would have 
ended, and Antichrist would have fallen before now. 
But I shall not pretend to determine precisely how long 
it was after this that that period began. The rise of An 
tichrist was gradual. The Christian church corrupted 
itself in many things presently after Constantine s time, 
growing more and more superstitious in its worship, by 
degrees bringing in many ceremonies into the worship 
of God, until af length they brought in the worship of 
saints, and set up images in their churches, and the clergy 
in general, and especially the bishop of Rome, assumed 
more and more authority to himself. In the primitive 
times he was only a minister of a congregation ; then a 
standing moderator of a presbytery; then a diocesan 
bishop; then a metropolitan, which is equivalent to an 
archbishop; then he was a patriarch, then afterwards he 
claimed the power of universal bishop over the whole 
Christian church through the world ; wherein he was op 
posed for a while, but afterwards was confirmed in it by 
the civil power of the Emperor in the year 606. After 
that he claimed the power of a temporal prince ; and so 
was wont to carry two swords, to signify that both 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 267 

the temporal and spiritual sword was his; and claimed 
more and more authority, until at length he, as Christ s 
vicegerent on earth, claimed the very same power that 
Christ would have, if he was present on earth, and 
reigned on his throne, or the same power that belongs 
to God, and used to be called God on earth ; and used 
to be submitted to by all the princes of Christendom. 
He claimed power to crown princes, and to degrade 
them at his pleasure ; and this power was owned . arid 
it came to that, that kings and emperors used to kiss his 
feet. The emperors were wont to receive their crowns at 
his hands, and princes were wont to dread the displeasure 
of the Pope, as they would dread a thunderbolt from 
heaven ; for if the Pope was pleased to excommunicate 
a prince, all his subjects were at once freed from their 
allegiance to him ; yea, and obliged not to own him any 
more, on pain of excommunication ; and not only so, 
but any man might kill him wherever he found him. 
And further, the Pope was believed to have power to 
damn men at pleasure ; for whoever died under his ex 
communication, was looked upon as certainly damned. 
And several emperors were actually deposed, and eject 
ed, and died miserably by his means : and if the people 
of any state or kingdom did not please him, he had 
power to lay that state or kingdom under an interdict, 
which was a sentence pronounced by the Pope against 
that state or kingdom, whereby all sacred administrations 
among them could have no validity. There could be no 
valid baptism, or sacraments, or prayers, or preaching, 
or pardons, until that interdict was taken off; so that 
that people remained, in their apprehension, in a misera 
ble, damnable state, and therefore dreaded it as they 
would a storm of fire and brimstone from heaven. And 
in order to execute his wrath on a prince or people with 
whom the Pope was displeased, other princes must also 
be put to a great deal of trouble and expense. 

And as the Pope and his clergy robbed the people of 
their ecclesiastical and civil liberties and privileges, so 
they also robbed them of their estates, and drained all 
Christendom of their money, and engrossed the most of 
their riches into their own coffers, by their vast revenues, 
besides pay for pardons and indulgences, baptisms and 
extreme unctions, deliverance out of purgatory, and an 
hundred other things. See how well this agrees with the 
prophecies, 2 Thess. ii. 3, 4. Dan. vii. 20. 2L Rev. xiii. 6, 
7. & chap. xvii. 3, 4. 



268 A HISTORY OF THE 

During this time also superstition and ignorance more 
and more prevailed. The holy scriptures by degrees 
were taken out of the hands of the laity, the better to 
promote the unscriptural and wicked designs of the Pope 
and the clergy ; and instead of promoting knowledge 
among the people, they industriously promoted igno 
rance. It was a received maxim among them, That ig 
norance is the mother of devotion : and so great was the 
darkness of those times, that learning was almost extinct 
in the world. The very priests themselves, most of them, 
were barbarously ignorant as to any commendable 
learning, or any other knowledge, than their hellish craft 
in oppressing and tyrannizing over the souls of the peo 
ple. The superstition and wickedness of the church of 
Rome, kept growing worse and worse until the very 
time of the Reformation ; and the whole Christian world 
were led away into this great defection, excepting the 
remains of the Christian church in the Eastern empire 
that had not been utterly overthrown by the Turks, as 
the Greek church, and some others, which were also 
sunk into great darkness and gross superstition, except 
ing also those few that were the people of God, who are 
represented by the woman in the wilderness, and God s 
two witnesses, of which more hereafter. 

This is one of those two great kingdoms which the 
devil in this period erected in opposition to the kingdom 
of Christ, and was the greatest and chief. I come now, 

(2.) To speak of the other, the second, which is in 
many respects like unto it, viz. his Mahometan kingdom, 
which is another great kingdom of mighty power and 
vast extent, set up by Satan against the kingdom of 
Christ: he set this up in the Eastern empire, as he did 
that of Antichrist in the Western. 

Mahomet was born in the year of Christ, 570, in Ara 
bia. When he was about forty years of age, he began 
to give forth that he was the great prophet of God, and 
began to teach his new invented religion, of which he 
was to be worshipped as the head next under God. He 
published his Alcoran, which he pretended he received 
from the angel Gabriel ; and being a subtle, crafty man, 
and possessed of considerable wealth, and living among 
a people who were very ignorant, and greatly divided in 
their opinions of religious matters, by subtlety, and fair 
promises of a sensual paradise, he gained a number to 
be his followers, and set up for their prince, and propa 
gated his religion by the sword, and made it meritorious 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 269 

of paradise to fight for him. By which means his party 
grew, and went on fighting until they conquered and 
brought over the neighbouring countries; and so his 
party gradually grew until they overran a great part of 
the world. First, the Saracens, who were some of his 
followers, and were a people of the country of Arabia, 
where Mahomet lived, about the year 700, began dread 
fully to waste the Roman empire. They overran a great 
many countries belonging to the empire, and continued 
their conquests for a long time. These are supposed to 
be meant by the * locusts that we read of in the 9th chap 
ter of Revelation. 

And then after this the Turks, who were originally 
another people, different from the Saracens, but were 
followers of Mahomet, conquered all the Eastern empire. 
They began their empire about the year of Christ 1296, 
and began to invade Europe 1300, and took Constanti 
nople, and so became masters of all the Eastern empire 
in the year 1453, which is near three hundred years ago. 
And thus all those cities and countries where were those 
famous churches of old, that we read of in the New Tes 
tament, as Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, &c. 
now all became subject to the Turks. And they took 
possession of Constantinople, which was named after 
Constantine the Great, being made by him the head city 
of the Roman empire, whereas Rome had been until 
then. These are supposed to be prophesied of by the 
* horsemen in the 9th chapter of Revelation, beginning 
with the 15th verse. And the remains of the Christians 
that are in those parts of the world, who are mostly of 
the Greek church, are in miserable slavery under these 
Turks, and treated with a great deal of barbarity and 
cruelty, and are become mostly very ignorant and su 
perstitious. 

Thus I have shown what great works of Satan were 
wrought during this space of time in opposition to the 
kingdom of Christ. 

2. I come now to show how the church of Christ was 
upheld through this dark time. And here, 

(1.) It is to be observed, that towards the former part 
of this space of time, some of the nations of Christendom 
held out a long time before they complied with the cor 
ruptions and usurpations of the church of Rome. Though 
all the world wondered after the beast, yet all nations 
did not fall in at once. Many of the principal corrup 
tions of the church of Rome were brought in with a 
23* 



270 



A HISTORY OF THE 



great deal of struggle and opposition ; and particularly, 
when the Pope gave out, that he was universal bishop, 
many churches greatly opposed him in it; and it was a 
long time before they would yield to his exorbitant 
claims. And so, when the worship of images was first 
brought into the churches, there were many who greatly 
opposed it, and long held out against it. And so with 
respect to other corruptions of the church of Rome. 
Those people that dwelt nearer to the city of Rome com 
plied sooner, but some that were more remote, were a 
long time before they could be induced to put their necks 
under the yoke: and particularly ecclesiastical history 
gives an account, that it was so with great part of the 
churches in England, and Scotland, and France, who 
retained the ancient purity of doctrine and worship much 
longer than many others who were nearer the chief seat 
of Antichrist. 

(2.) In every age of this dark time, there appeared 
particular persons in all parts of Christendom, who bore 
a testimony against the corruptions and tyranny of the 
church of Rome. There is no one age of Antichrist, 
even in the darkest times of all, but ecclesiastical histo 
rians mention great many by name who manifested an 
abhorrence of the Pope, and his idolatrous worship, and 
pleaded for the ancient purity of doctrine and worship. 
God was pleased to maintain an uninterrupted succes 
sion of witnesses through the whole time, in Germany, 
France, Britain, and other countries; as historians de 
monstrate, and mention them by name, and give an ac 
count of the testimony which they held. Many of them 
were private persons, and many of them ministers, and 
some magistrates, and persons of great distinction. And 
there were numbers in every age who were persecuted 
and put to death for this testimony. 

(3.) Besides these particular persons dispersed here 
and there, there was a certain people, called the Wal- 
denses, who lived separate from all the rest of the world, 
who kept themselves pure, and constantly bore a testi 
mony aerainst the church of Rome through all this dark 
time. The place where they dwelt was the Vaudois, or 
the five valleys of Piedmont, a very mountainous country, 
between Italy and France. The place where they lived 
was compassed about with those exceeding high moun 
tains called the Alps, which were almost impassable. 
The passage over these mountainous desert countries, 
was so difficult, that the valleys where this people dwelt 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 27 

were almost inaccessible. There this people lived for 
many ages, as it were, alone, in a state of separation 
from allthe world, having very little to do with any 
other people. And there they served God in the ancient 
purity of his worship, and never submitted to the church 
of Rome. This place in this desert mountainous country, 
probably was the place especially meant in the 12th 
chapter of Revelation, 6th verse, as the place prepared 
of God for the woman, that they should feed her there 
during the reign of Antichrist 

rne of the Popish writers themselves own, that that 
people never submitted to the church of Rome. One of 
the Popish writers, speaking of the Waldenses, says, 
The heresy of the Waldenses is the oldest heresy in the 
world. It is supposed that this people first betook them 
selves to this desert secret place among the mountains, 
to hide themselves from the severity of the heathen per 
secutions which were before Constantine the Great. 
And thus the woman fled into the wilderness from the 
face of the serpent, Rev. xii. 6. And so, verse 14. " And 
to the woman were given two wings of a great eagie, 
that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place: 
where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a 
time, from the face of the serpent" And the people be 
ing settled there, their posterity continued there from age 
_ r e afterwards: and being, as it were, by natural 
walls, as well as by God s izrace, separated from the rest 
of the world, never partook of the overflowing corrup 
tion. 

These especially were those virgins who were not de 
filed with the rest of women, or when other women pros 
tituted themselves and were defiled ; but they kept them 
selves pure for Christ alone: they followed the Lamb, 
their spiritual husband, whithersoever he went: they fol 
lowed him into this hideous wilderness, Rev. xiv. 4, 5. 
Their doctrine and their worship, as there still remain 
accounts of them, appear to be the same with the Pro 
testant doctrine and worship; and by the confession of 
Popish writers, they were a people remarkable for the 
strictness of their liv^s, for charity and other Christian 
virtues. They lived in external poverty in this hideous 
country ; but they chose this rather than to comply with 
the great corruptions of the rest of the world. 

They living in so secret a place, it was a lonsr time 
before they seem to have been much taken notice of by 
the Romanists; but at last falling under observation, 



272 A HISTORY OF THE 

they went out in mighty armies against them, and fell 
upon them with insatiable cruelty, barbarously massa- 
croing and putting to death men, women, and children, 
with all imaginable tortures; and so continued perse 
cuting them with but little intermission for several hun 
dred years ; by which means many of them were driven 
out of their old habitations in the valleys of Piedmont, 
and fled into all parts of Europe, carrying with them 
their doctrine, to which many were brought over. So 
their persecutors could not by all their cruelties extir 
pate the church of God; so fulfilling his word, "that the 
gates of hell should not prevail against it." 

(4.) Towards the latter part of this dark time, several 
noted divines openly appeared to defend the truth, and 
bear testimony against the corruptions of the church of 
Rome, and had many followers. The first and principal 
of these was a certain English divine, whose name was 
John Wickliff, who appeared about 140 years before the 
Reformation, and strenuously opposed the Popish reli 
gion, and taught the same doctrine that the Reformers 
afterwards did, and had many followers in England. 
He was hotly persecuted in his lifetime, yet died in peace ; 
and after he was buried, his bones were dug up by his 
persecutors, and burnt. His followers remained in con 
siderable numbers in England until the Reformation, 
and were cruelly persecuted, and multitudes put to death 
for their religion. 

Wickliff had many disciples and followers, not only in 
England, but in other parts of Europe, whither his books 
were carried; and particularly in Bohemia, among 
whom were two eminent divines, the name of one was 
John Huss, the other s name was Jerome, a divine belong 
ing to Prague, the chief city of Bohemia. These strenu 
ously opposed the church of Rome, and had many who 
adhered to them. They were both burnt by the Papists 
for their doctrine; and their followers in Bohemia were 
cruelly persecuted, but never extirpated until the Refor 
mation. 

Thus having gone through this dark time of the 
church, which is the second part of the space from Con- 
stantine the Great to the destruction of Antichrist, I come 
now, 

Sdly, To the third part, viz. that which begins with 
the Reformation, and reaches to the present time. And 
here I would, 1. Speak of the Reformation itself; 2. The 
opposition which the devil has made to the Reformed 



\V011K OF REDEMPTION. 273 

church ; S. What success there has lately been of the 
gospel in one place and another; 4. What the state of 
things is now in the world with regard to the church of 
Christ, and the success of his purchase. 

1. Here the first thing to be taken notice of is the Re 
formation. This was begun about 220 years ago : iirst 
in Saxony in Germany, by the preaching of Martin Lu 
ther, who being stirred in his spirit, to see the horrid 
practices of the Popish clergy, and having set himself 
diligently to inquire after truth, by the study of the holy 
scriptures, and the writings of the ancient fathers of the 
church, very openly and boldly decried the corruptions 
and usurpations of the Romish church in his preaching 
and writings, and had soon a great number that fell in 
with him; among whom was the Elector of Saxony, the 
sovereign prince of the country to which he belonged. 
This greatly alarmed the church of Rome; and it did as 
it were rally all its force to oppose him and his doctrine, 
and fierce wars and persecutions were raised against it : 
but yet it went on by the labours of Luther and Melanc- 
thon in Germany, and Zuinglius in Switzerland, and 
other eminent divines, who were cotemporary with Lu 
ther, and fell in with him; and particularly Calvin, who 
appeared something after the beginning of the Reforma 
tion, but was one of the most eminent Reformers. 

Many of the princes of Germany soon fell in with the 
Reformed religion, and many other states and kingdoms 
in Europe, as England, Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, 
Norway, great part of France, Poland, Lithuania, Switz 
erland, and the Low Countries. So that it is thought, 
that heretofore about half Christendom were of the Pro 
testant religion ; though, since, the Papists have gained 
ground : so that the Protestants now have not so great 
a proportion. 

Thus God began gloriously to revive his church again, 
and advance the kingdom of his Son, after such a dismal 
night of darkness as had been before from the rise of 
Antichrist to that time. There had been many endeav 
ours used by the witnesses for the truth for a reforma 
tion before. But now, when God s appointed time was 
come, his work was begun, and went on with a swift 
and wonderful progress ; and Antichrist, who had been 
rising higher and higher from his very first beginning 
until that time, was swiftly and suddenly brought down, 
and fell halfway towards utter ruin, and never has been 
able to rise again to his former height. A certain very 



274 A HISTORY OF THE 

late expositor (Mr. Lowman) who explains the first five 
vials in the 16th chapter of Revelation, with greater 
probability perhaps than any who went before him, ex 
plains the fifth vial, which was poured out on the seat of 
the beast, of what came to pass in the Reformation ; ex 
plaining the four preceding vials of certain great judg 
ments God brought on the Popish dominions before the 
Reformation. It is said, Rev. xvi. 10. that "the fifth an 
gel poured out his vial on the seat of the beast ;" in the 
original, it is the throne of the beast ; "and his kingdom 
was full of darkness, and they gnawed their tongues for 
pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their 
pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds." 
He poured out his vial upon the throne of the beast, i. e. 
on the authority and dominion of the Pope: so the word 
throne is often used in scripture ; so 1 Kings i. 37. " As 
the Lord hath been with my lord the king, even so be he 
with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the 
throne of my lord King David;" i. e. make his dominion 
and authority greater, and his kingdom more glorious. 

But now, in the Reformation, the vials of God s wrath 
were poured out on the throne of the beast. His throne 
was terribly shaken and diminished. The Pope s au 
thority and dominion was greatly diminished, both as to 
the extent and degree. He lost, as was said before, 
about half his dominions. And besides, since the Refor 
mation, the Pope has lost great part of that authority, 
even in the Popish dominions, which he had before. He 
is not regarded, and his power is dreaded in no measure 
as it was wont to be. The powers of Europe have 
learned not to put their necks under the Pope s feet, as 
formerly they were wont to do. So that he is as a lion 
that has lost his teeth, in comparison of what he was 
once. And when the Pope and his clergy, enraged to 
see their authority so diminished at the Reformation, laid 
their heads together, and joined their forces to destroy 
the Reformation ; their policy, which was wont to serve 
them so well, failed ; and they found their kingdom full 
of darkness, so that they could do nothing, any more 
than the Egyptians, who rose not from their seats for 
three days. The Reformed church was defended as Lot 
and the angels were in Sodom, by smiting the Sodomites 
with darkness or blindness, that they could not find the 
door. God then fulfilled that in Job v. 11. &c. "To set 
up on high those that be low ; that those which mourn 
may be exalted to safety. He disappointeth the devices 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 275 

of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform theii 
enterprise. He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: 
and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong. 
They meet with darkness in the day time, and grope in 
the noon day as in the night. But he saveth the poor 
from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of 
the mighty." 

Those proud enemies of God s people being so disap 
pointed, and finding themselves so unable to uphold 
their own dominion and authority, this made them as it 
were to gnaw their tongues for pain, or bite their tongues 
for mere rage. 

2. I proceed therefore to show what opposition has 
been made to this success of Christ s purchase by the 
Reformation by Satan and his adherents ; observing, as 
we go along, how far they have been baffled, and how 
far they have been successful. 

The opposition which Satan has made against the Re 
formed religion has been principally of the following 
kinds, viz. that which was made, 1. By a general coun 
cil of the church of Rome; 2. By secret plots and de 
vices; 3. By open wars and invasions; 4. By cruel op 
pression and persecution; and 5. By bringing in cor 
rupt opinions. 

(1.) The first opposition that I shall take notice of is 
that which was made by the clergy of the church of 
Rome uniting together in a general council. This was 
the famous council of Trent, which the Pope called a 
little while after the Reformation. In that council, there 
met together six cardinals, thirty-two archbishops, two 
hundred and twenty-eight bishops, besides innumerable 
others of the Romish clergy. This council, in all their 
sittings, including the times of intermission between 
their sittings, was held for twenty-five years together. 
Their main business all this while was to concert mea 
sures for establishing the church of Rome against the 
Reformers, and for destroying the Reformation. But it 
proved that they were not able to perform their enter 
prise. The Reformed church, notwithstanding their 
holding so great a council, and for so long a time to 
gether against it, remained, and remains still. So that 
the counsel of the froward is carried headlong, and their 
kingdom is full of darkness, and they weary themselves 
to find the door. 

Thus the church of Rome, instead of repenting of their 
deeds, when such clear light was held forth to them by 



276 A HISTORY OF THE 

Luther, and other servants of God, the Reformers, does, 
by general agreement in council, persist in their vile cor 
ruptions and wickedness, and obstinate opposition to the 
kingdom of Christ. The doctrines and practices of the 
church of Rome, which were chiefly condemned by the 
Reformed, were confirmed by the decrees of their coun 
cil ; and the corruptions, in many respects, were carried 
higher than ever before; and they uttered blasphemous 
reproaches and curses against the Reformed religion, 
and all the Reformed church was excommunicated and 
anathematized by them; and so, according to the pro 
phecy, "they blasphemed God." Thus God hardened 
their hearts, intending to destroy them. 

(2.) The Papists have often edeavoured to overthrow 
the Reformation by secret plots and conspiracies. So 
there were many plots against the life of Luther. The 
Papists were engaged in contriving to dispatch him, and 
to put him out of their way; and he, as he was a very 
bold man, often very much exposed himself in the cause 
of Christ: but yet they were wonderfully prevented 
from hurting him, and he at last died in his bed in peace. 
And so there have been from time to time innumerable 
schemes secretly laid for the overthrow of the Protestant 
religion ; among which, that which seems to be most 
considerable, and which seemed to be the most likely to 
have taken effect, was that which was in the time of 
King James II. of England, which is within the memory 
of many of us. There was at that time a strong con 
spiracy between the King of England and Lewis XIV. 
of France, who were both Papists, to extirpate the North 
ern heresy, as they called the Protestant religion, not 
only out of England, but out of all Europe; and had laid 
their schemes so, that they seemed to be almost sure of 
their purpose. They looked upon it, that if the Reform 
ed religion were suppressed in the British realms, and in 
the Netherlands, which were the strongest part, and 
chief defence of the Protestant interest, they should have 
easy work with the rest. And just as their matters 
seemed to be come to a head, and their enterprise ripe 
for execution, God, in his providence, suddenly dashed 
all their schemes in pieces by the Revolution, at the com 
ing in of King William and Queen Mary; by which all 
their designs were at an end ; and the Protestant inter 
est was more strongly established, by the crown of Eng 
land s being established in the Protestant house of Han- 
Over, and a Papist being, by the constitution of the na- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 277 

tion, for ever rendered incapable of wearing the crown 
of England. Thus they groped in darkness at noon day 
as in the night, and their hands could not perform their 
enterprise, and their kingdom was full of darkness, and 
they gnawed their tongues for pain. 

After this, there was a deep design laid to bring the 
same thing to pass in the latter end of Queen Anne s 
reign, by the bringing in of the Popish pretender; which 
was no less suddenly and totally baffled by divine Pro 
vidence ; as the plots against the Reformation, by bring 
ing in the pretender, have been from time to time. 

(3.) The Reformation has often been opposed by open 
wars and invasions. So in the beginning- of the Refor 
mation, the Emperor of Germany, to suppress the Refor 
mation, declared war with the Duke of Saxony, and the 
principal men who favoured and received Luther s doc 
trine. But they could not obtain their end ; they could 
not suppress the Reformation. For the same end, the 
King of Spain maintained a long war with Holland and 
the Low Countries in the century before last. But those 
cruel wars issued greatly to the disadvantage of the Ro 
mish church, as they occasioned the setting up of one of 
the most powerful Protestant states in Europe, which, 
next to Great Britain, is the chief barrier of the Protes 
tant religion. And the design of the Spanish invasion 
of England in Queen Elizabeth s time, was to suppress 
and root out the Reformed religion ; and therefore they 
brought in their fleet all manner of instruments of cruelty 
wherewith to torture the Protestants who would not re 
nounce the Protestant religion. But their design was 
totally baffled, and their mighty fleet in a great measure 
ruined. 

(4.) Satan has opposed the Reformation with cruel 
persecutions. The persecutions with which the Protes 
tants in one kingdom and another have been persecuted 
by the church of Rome, have in many respects been far 
beyond any of the heathen persecutions which were be 
fore Constantine the Great, and beyond all that ever 
were before. So that Antichrist has proved the greatest 
and cruelest enemy to the church of Christ that ever was 
in the world, in this, as well as in all other respects; 
agreeable to the description given of the church of Rome, 
Rev. xvii. 6. "And I saw the woman drunken with the 
blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of 
Jesus." And, chap, xviii. 24. "And on her was found 
24 



278 A HISTORY OF THE 

the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all them that 
were slain upon the earth." 

The heathen persecutions had been very dreadful : but 
now persecution by the church of Rome was improved, 
and studied, and cultivated, as an art or science. Such 
ways of afflicting and tormenting were found out, as are 
beyond the thought and invention of ordinary men, or 
men who are unstudied in those things, and beyond the 
invention of all former ages. And that persecution 
might be managed the more effectually, there were cer 
tain societies of men established in various parts of the 
Popish dominions, whose business it should be to study, 
and improve, and practise persecution in its highest per 
fection, which are those societies called the courts of in 
quisition. A reading of the particular histories of the 
Romish persecution, and their courts of inquisition, will 
give that idea which a few words cannot express. 

When the Reformation began, the beast with seven 
heads and ten horns began to rage in a dreadful man 
ner. After the Reformation, the church of Rome renew 
ed its persecution of the poor Waldenses, and great mul 
titudes of them were cruelly tortured and put to death. 
Soon after the Reformation, there were terrible persecu 
tions in various parts of Germany ; and especially in Bo 
hemia, which lasted for thirty years together ; in which 
so much blood was shed for the sake of religion, that a 
certain writer compares it to the plenty of waters of the 
great rivers of Germany. The countries of Poland, Li 
thuania, and Hungary, were in like manner deluged with 
Protestant blood. 

By means of these and other cruel persecutions, the 
Protestant religion was in a great measure suppressed 
in Bohemia, and the Palatinate, and Hungary, which be 
fore were as it were Protestant countries. Thus was 
fulfilled what was foretold of the little horn, Dan. vii. 20, 
21. " and of the ten horns that were in his head, and 
of the other which came up, and before whom three fell, 
even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake 
very great things, whose look was more stout than his 
fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with 
the saints, and prevailed against them." And what was 
foretold of the beast having seven heads and ten horns, 
Rev. xiii. 7. " And it was given unto him to make war 
with the saints, and to overcome them : and power was 
given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." 

Also Holland and the other Low Countries were for 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 270 

many years a scene of nothing but the most affecting 
and amazing cruelties, being deluged with the blood of 
Protestants, under the merciless hands of the Spaniards, 
to whom they were then in subjection. But in this per 
secution, the devil in a great measure failed of his pur 
pose ; as it issued in a great part of the Netherlands 
casting off the Spanish yoke, and setting up a wealthy 
and powerful Protestant state, to the great defence of the 
Protestant cause ever since. 

France also is another country, which, since the Re 
formation, in some respects, perhaps more than any 
other, has been a scene of dreadful cruelties suffered by 
the Protestants there. After many cruelties had been 
exercised towards the Protestants in that kingdom, there 
was begun a persecution of them in the year 1571, in the 
reign of Charles IX. King of France. It began with a 
cruel massacre, wherein 70,000 Protestants were slain in 
a few days time, as the King boasted: and in all this 
persecution, he slew, as is supposed, 300,000 martyrs. 
And it is reckoned, that about this time, within thirty 
years, there were martyred in this kingdom, for the 
Protestant religion, 39 princes, 148 counts, 234 barons, 
147,518 gentlemen, and 760,000 of the common people. 

But all these persecutions were, for exquisite cruelty, 
far exceeded by those which followed in the reign of 
Lewis XIV. which indeed are supposed to exceed all 
others that ever have been; and being long continued, 
by reason of the long reign of that king, almost wholly 
extirpated the Protestant religion out of that kingdom, 
where had been before a multitude of famous Protestant 
churches all over the kingdom. Thus it was given to 
the beast to make war with the saints, and to overcome 
them. 

There was also a terrible persecution in England in 
dueen Mary s time, wherein great numbers in all parts 
of the kingdom were burnt alive. And after this, though 
the Protestant religion has been for the most part estab 
lished by law in England, yet there have been very se 
vere persecutions by the high churchmen, who symbol 
ize in many things with the Papists. Such a persecu 
tion was that which occasioned our forefathers to flee 
from their native country, and to come and settle in this 
land, which was then a hideous howling wilderness. 
And these persecutions were continued with little inter 
mission until King William came to the throne. 

Scotland has also been the scene, for many years 



280 A HISTORY OF THE 

together, of cruelties and blood by the hands of high 
churchmen, such as came very little short of the Popish 
persecution in Queen Mary s days, and in many things 
much exceeded it, which continued until they were de 
livered by King William. 

Ireland also has been as it were overwhelmed with 
Protestant blood. In the days of King Charles I. of Eng 
land, above 200,000 Protestants were cruelly murdered 
in that kingdom in a few days; the Papists, by a secret 
agreement, rising all over the kingdom at an appointed 
time, intending to kill every Protestant in the kingdom 
at once. 

Besides these, there have been very cruel persecutions 
in Italy, and Spain, and other places, which I shall not 
stand to relate. 

Thus did the devil, and. his great minister Antichrist, 
rage with such violence and cruelty against the church 
of Christ ; and thus did the whore of Babylon make her 
self drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs of 
Jesus; and thus, by these persecutions, the Protestant 
church has been much diminished ! Yet with all have 
they not been able to prevail ; but still the Protestant 
church is upheld, and Christ fulfils his promise, that " the 
gates of hell shall not prevail against his church." 

(5.) The last kind of opposition that Satan has made 
to the Reformation is by corrupt opinions. Satan has 
opposed the light of the gospel which shone forth in the 
Reformation, with many corrupt opinions, which he has 
brought in and propagated in the world. 

And here, in the first place, the first opposition of this 
kind was by raising up the sect of the Anabaptists, 
which began about four or five years after the Reforma 
tion itself began. This sect, as it first appeared in Ger 
many, were vastly more extravagant than the present 
Anabaptists are in England. They held a great many 
exceeding corrupt opinions. One tenet of theirs was, 
That there ought to be no civil authority, and so that it 
was lawful to rebel against civil authority. And on this 
principle, they refused to submit to magistrates, or any 
human laws ; and gathered together in vast armies, to 
defend themselves against their civil rulers, and put all 
Germany into an uproar, and so kept it for some time. 

The next opposition of this kind to the Reformation 
was that which was made by enthusiasts. Those are 
called enthusiasts who falsely pretend to be inspired by 
the Holy Ghost as the prophets were. These began in 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 281 

Germany about ten years after Luther began the Refor 
mation; and there arose various sects of them who were 
exceeding wild and extravagant. The followers of these 
are the Quakers in England, and other parts of the British 
dominions. 

The next to these were the Socinians, who had their 
beginning chiefly in Poland, by the teaching of two men ; 
the name of the one was Laslius Socinus, of the other, 
Faustus Socinus. They held, that Christ was a mere 
man, and denied Christ s satisfaction, and most of the 
fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion. Their 
heresy has since been greatly propagated among Protes 
tants in Poland, Germany, Holland, England, and other 
places. 

After these arose the Arminians. These first appear 
ed in Holland about 130 years ago. They take their 
name from a Dutchman, whose name was Jacobus Van 
Harmin, which, turned into Latin, is called Jacobus Ar- 
minius; and from his name the whole sect are called 
Arminians. This Jacobus Arminius was first a minister 
at Amsterdam, and then a professor of divinity in the 
university of Leyden. He had many followers in Hol 
land. There was upon this a synod of all the Reformed 
churches called together, who met at Dort in Holland. 
The synod of Dort condemned them; but yet they 
spread and prevailed. They began to prevail in Eng 
land in the reign of Charles I. especially in the church of 
England. The church of England divines before that 
were almost universally Calvinists : but since that, Ar- 
miriianism has gradually more and more prevailed, until 
they are become almost universally Arminians. And 
not only so, but Arminianism has greatly prevailed 
among the Dissenters, and has spread greatly in New 
England, as well as Old. 

Since this, Arianism has been revived. As I told you 
before, Arianism, a little after Constantine s time, almost 
swallowed up the Christian world, like a flood out of the 
mouth of the serpent which threatened to swallow up 
the woman. And of late years, this heresy has been re 
vived in England, and greatly prevails there, both in the 
church of England, and among Dissenters. These hold, 
that Christ is but a mere creature, though they grant 
that he is the greatest of all creatures. 

Again, another thing which has of late exceedingly 
prevailed among Protestants, and especially in England, 
is Deism. The Deists wholly cast off the Christian re- 
24* 



282 A HISTORY OF THE 

ligion, and are professed infidels. They are not like the 
heretics, Arians, Socinians, and others, who own the 
scriptures to be the word of God, and hold the Christian 
religion to be the true religion, but only deny these and 
these fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion : 
they deny the whole Christian religion. Indeed they 
own the being of God ; but deny that Christ was the son 
of God, and say he was a mere cheat ; and so they say 
all the prophets and apostles were : and they deny the 
whole scripture. They deny that any of it is the word 
of God. They deny any revealed religion, or any word 
of God at all; and say, that God has given mankind no 
other light to walk by but their own reason. These sen 
timents and opinions our nation, which is the principal 
nation of the Reformation, is very much overrun with, 
and they prevail more and more. 

Thus much concerning the opposition that Satan has 
made against the Reformation. 

3. I proceed now to show what success the gospel 
has more lately had, or what success it has had in these 
later times of the Reformed church. This success may 
be reduced to these three heads : 1. Reformation in doc 
trine and worship in countries called Christian ; 2. Pro 
pagation of the gospel among the heathen ; 3. Revival 
of religion in the power and practice of it. 

(1.) As to the first, viz. reformation in doctrine, the 
most considerable success of the gospel that has been of 
late of this kind, has been in the empire of Muscovy, 
which is a country of vast extent. The people of this 
country, so many of them as call themselves Christians, 
professed to be of the Greek church ; but were barbar 
ously ignorant, and very superstitious, until of late 
years. Their late Emperor Peter the Great, who reigned 
until within these twenty years, set himself to reform the 
people of his dominions, and took great pains to bring 
them out of their darkness, and to have them instructed 
in religion. And to that end, he set up schools of learn 
ing, and ordered the Bible to be printed in the language 
of the country, and made a law that every family should 
keep the holy scriptures in their houses, and that every 
person should be able to read the same, and that no per 
son should be allowed to marry until they were able to 
read the scriptures. He also reformed the churches of 
his country in many of their superstitions, whereby the 
religion professed and practised in Muscovy is much 
nearer to that of the Protestants than formerly it used to 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 283 

be. This emperor gave great encouragement to the ex 
ercise of the Protestant religion in his dominions. And 
since that Muscovy has become a land of light, in com 
parison of what it was before. Wonderful alterations 
have been brought about in the face of religion for the 
better within these fifty years past. 

(2.) As to the second kind of success which the gospel 
has lately had, viz. its propagation among the heathen, I 
would take notice of three things. 

[1.] The propagation there has been of the gospel 
among the heathen here in America. This American 
continent on which we live, which is a very great part 
of the world, and, together with its neighbouring seas ad 
joining, takes up one side of the globe, was wholly un 
known to all Christian nations until these latter times. 
It was not known that there was any such part of the 
world, though it was very full of people : and therefore 
here the devil had the people that inhabited this part of 
the world as it were secure to himself, out of the reach 
of the light of the gospel, and so out of the way of mo 
lestation in his dominion over them. And here the many 
nations of Indians worshipped him as God from age to 
age, while the gospel was confined to the opposite side 
of the globe. It is a thing which, if I remember right, I 
have some where lit of, as probably supposed from some 
remaining accounts of things, that the occasion of the 
first peopling of America was this, that the devil being 
alarmed and surprised by the wonderful success of the 
gospel which there was the first three hundred years af 
ter Christ, and by the downfall of the heathen empire in 
the time of Constantine, and seeing the gospel spread 
so fast, and fearing that his heathenish kingdom would 
be wholly overthrown through the world, led away a 
people from the other continent into America, that they 
might be quite out of the reach of the gospel, that here 
he might quietly possess them, and reign over them as 
their god. It is what many writers give an account of, 
that some of the nations of Indians, when the Europe 
ans first came into America, had a tradition among them, 
that their god first led them into this continent, and went 
before them in an ark. 

Whether this was so or not, yet it is certain that the 
devil did here quietly enjoy his dominion over the poor 
nations of Indians for many ages. But in later times 
God has sent the gospel into these parts of the world, and 
now the Christian church is set up here in New England, 



284 A HISTORY OF THE 

and in other parts of America, where before had been 
nothing but the grossest heathenish darkness. Great 
part of America is now full of Bibles, and full of at least 
the form of the worship of the true God and Jesus Christ, 
where the name of Christ before had not been heard of 
for many ages, if at all. And though there has been but 
a small propagation of the gospel among the heathen 
here, in comparison of what were to be wished for ; yet 
there has been something worthy to be taken notice of. 
There was something remarkable in the first times of 
New England, and something remarkable has appeared 
of late here, and in other parts of America among many 
Indians, of an inclination to be instructed in the Chris 
tian religion. 

And however small the propagation of the gospel 
among the heathen here in America has been hitherto, 
yet I think we may well look upon the discovery of so 
great a part of the world as America, and bringing the 
gospel into it, as one thing by which divine Providence 
is preparing the way for the future glorious times of the 
church ; when Satan s kingdom shall be overthrown, not 
only throughout the Roman empire, but throughput the 
whole habitable globe, on every side, and on all its con 
tinents. When those times come, then doubtless the 
gospel, which is already brought over into America, shall 
have glorious success, and all the inhabitants of this new 
discovered world shall become subjects of the kingdom 
of Christ, as well as all the other ends of the earth : and 
in all probability Providence has so ordered it, that the 
mariner s compass, which is an invention of later times, 
whereby men are enabled to sail over the widest ocean, 
when before they durst not venture far from land, should 
prove a preparation for what God intends to bring to 
pass in the glorious times of the church, viz. the sending 
forth the gospel wherever any of the children of men 
dwell, how far soever off, and however separated by wide 
oceans from those parts of the world which are already 
Christianized. 

[2.] There has of late years been a very considerable 
propagation of the gospel among the heathen in the do 
minions of Muscovy. I have already observed the refor 
mation which there has lately been among those who are 
called Christians there : but I now speak of the heathen. 
Great part of the vast dominions of the Emperor of 
Muscovy, are gross heathens. The greater part of Great 
Tartary, a heathen country, has in later times been 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 285 

brought under the Muscovite government; and there 
have been of late great numbers of those heathen who 
have renounced their heathenism, and have embraced 
the Christian religion. 

[3.] There has been lately a very considerable propa 
gation of the Christian religion among the heathen in the 
East Indies ; particularly, many in a country in the East 
Indies called Malabar, have been brought over to the 
Christian Protestant religion, chiefly by the labours of 
certain missionaries sent thither to instruct them by the 
King of Denmark, who have brought over many hea 
thens to the Christian faith, and have set up schools 
among them, and a printing press to print Bibles and 
other books for their instruction, in their own language, 
with great success. 

(3.) The last kind of success which there has lately 
been of the gospel, which I shall take notice of, is the 
revivals of the power and practice of religion which 
have lately been. And here I shall take notice of but two 
instances. 

[1.] There has not long since been a remarkable revi 
val of the power and practice of religion in Saxony in 
Germany, through the endeavours of an eminent divine 
there, whose name was August Herman Franke, profes 
sor of divinity at Halle in Saxony, who being a person of 
eminent charity, the great work that God wrought by 
him, began with his setting on foot a charitable design. 
It began only with his placing an alms box at his study 
door, into which some poor mites were thrown, whereby 
books were bought for the instruction of the poor. And 
God was pleased so wonderfully to smile on his design, 
and so to pour out a spirit of charity on people there on 
that occasion, that with their chanty he was enabled in a 
little time to erect public schools for the instruction of 
poor children, and an orphan house for the supply and 
instruction of the poor ; so that at last it came to that, 
that near five hundred children were maintained and in 
structed in learning and piety by the charity of others; 
and the number continued to increase more and more 
for many years, and until the last account I have seen. 
This was accompanied with a wonderful reformation and 
revival of religion, and a spirit of piety, in the city and 
university of Halle ; and thus it continued. Which also 
had great influence in many other places in Germany. 
Their example seemed remarkably to stir up multitudes 
to their imitation. 



286 A HISTORY OF THE 

[2.] Another thing-, which it would be ungrateful in us 
not to take notice of, is that remarkable pouring out of 
the Spirit of God which has been of late in this part of 
New England, of which we, in this town, have had such 
a share. But it is needless for me particularly to describe 
it, it being what you have so lately been eye witnesses 
to, and I hope multitudes of you sensible of the bene 
fit of. 

Thus I have mentioned the more remarkable instan 
ces of the success which the gospel has lately had in the 
world. 

4. I proceed now to the last thing that was proposed 
to be considered relating to the success of Christ s re 
demption during this space, viz. what the state of things 
is now in the world with regard to the church of Christ, 
and the success of Christ s purchase. And this I would 
do, by showing how things are now compared with the 
first times of the Reformation. And, 1. I would show 
wherein the state of things is altered for the worse ; and, 
2. How it is altered for the better. 

(1) I would show wherein the state of things is altered 
from what it was in the beginning of the Reformation, 
for the worse ; and it is so especially in these three re 
spects. 

[I.] The Reformed church is much diminished. The 
Reformation in the former times of it, as was observed 
before, was supposed to take place through one half of 
Christendom, excepting the Greek church ; or that there 
were as many Protestants as Papists. But now it is not 
so ; the Protestant church is much diminished. Hereto 
fore there have been multitudes of Protestants in France ; 
many famous Protestant churches were all over that 
country, who used to meet together in synods, and 
maintain a very regular discipline ; and great part of 
that kingdom were Protestants. The Protestant church 
of France was a great part of the glory of the Reforma 
tion. But now it is far otherwise : this church is all bro 
ken to pieces and scattered. The Protestant religion is 
almost wholly rooted out of that kingdom by the cruel 
persecutions which have been there, and there are now 
but very few Protestant assemblies in all that kingdom. 
The Protestant interest is also greatly diminished in Ger 
many. There were several sovereign princes there for 
merly who were Protestants, whose successors are now 
Papists; as, particularly, the Elector Palatine, and the 
Elector of Saxony. The kingdom of Bohemia was for- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 287 

merly a Protestant kingdom, but is now in the hands of 
the Papists : and so Hungary was formerly a Protestant 
country, but the Protestants there have been greatly re 
duced, and in a great measure subdued, by the persecu 
tions that have been there. And the Protestant interest 
has no way remarkably gained ground of late of the 
church of Rome. 

[2.] Another thing wherein the state of things is alter 
ed for the worse from what was in the former times of 
the Reformation, is the prevailing of licentiousness in 
principles and opinions. There is not now that spirit of 
orthodoxy which there was then : there is very little ap 
pearance of zeal for the mysterious and spiritual doc 
trines of Christianity ; and they never were so ridiculed, 
and had in contempt, as they are in the present age; 
and especially in England, the principal kingdom of the 
Reformation. In this kingdom, those principles, on 
which the power of godliness depends, are in a great 
measure exploded, and Arianism, and Socinianism, and 
Arminianism, and Deism, are the things which prevail, 
and carry almost all before them. And particularly his 
tory gives.no account of any age wherein there was so 
great an apostasy of those who had been brought up un 
der the light of the gospel, to infidelity; never was there 
such a casting off of the Christian and all revealed reli 
gion ; never any age wherein was so much scoffing at 
and ridiculing the gospel of Christ, by those who have 
been brought up under gospel light, nor any thing like 
it, as there is at this day. 

[3.] Another thing wherein things are altered for the 
worse, is, that there is much less of the prevalency of the 
power of godliness, than there was at the beginning of 
the Reformation. There was a glorious outpouring of 
the Spirit of God that accompanied the first Reformation, 
not only to convert multitudes in so short a time from 
Popery to the true religion, but to turn many to God and 
true godliness. Religion gloriously flourished in one 
country and another, as most remarkably appeared in 
those times of terrible persecution, which have already 
been spoken of. But now there is an exceeding great 
decay of vital piety ; yea, it seems to be despised, called 
enthusiasm, whimsy, and fanaticism. Those who are 
truly religious, are commonly looked upon to be crack- 
brained, and beside their right mind ; and vice and pro- 
faneness dreadfully prevail, like a flood which threatens 
to bear down all before it. But I proceed now to show, 



xiao A HISTORY OF THE 

(2.) In what respect things are altered for the better 
from what they were in the first Reformation. 

[1.] The power and influence of the Pope is much di 
minished. Although, since the former times of the Re 
formation, he has gained ground in extent of dominion ; 
yet he has lost in degree of influence. The vial which 
in the beginning of the Reformation was poured out on 
the throne of the beast, to the great diminishing of his 
power and authority in the world, has continued running 
ever since. The Pope, soon after the Reformation, be 
came less regarded by the princes of Europe than he had 
been before; and so he has been since less and less. 
Many of the Popish princes themselves seem now to re 
gard him very little more than they think will serve their 
own designs; of which there have been several remark 
able proofs and instances of late. 

[2.] There is far less persecution now than there was 
in the first times of the Reformation. You have heard 
already how dreadfully persecution raged in the former 
times of the Reformation; and there is something of it 
still. Some parts of the Protestant church are at this 
day under persecution, and so probably will be until the 
day of the church s suffering and travail is at an end, 
which will not be until the fall of Antichrist. But it is 
now in no measure as it was heretofore. There does 
not seem to be the same spirit of persecution prevailing; 
it is become more out of fashion even among the Popish 
princes. The wickedness of the enemies of Christ, and 
the opposition against his cause, seem to run in another 
channel. The humour now is, to despise and laugh at 
all religion ; and there seems to be a spirit of indiffer- 
ency about it. However, so far the state of things is 
better than it has been, that there is so much less of per 
secution. 

[3.] There is a great increase of learning. In the dark 
times of Popery before the Reformation, learning was so 
far decayed, that the world seemed to be overrun with 
barbarous ignorance. Their Very priests were many 
of them grossly ignorant. Learning began to revive 
with the Reformation, which was owing very much to 
the art of printing, which was invented a little before the 
Reformation ; and since that, learning has increased 
more and more, and at this day is undoubtedly raised to 
vastly a greater height than ever it was before: and 
though no good use is made of it by the greater part of 
learned men, yet the increase of learning in itself is a 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 289 

thing to be rejoiced in, because it is a good, and, if duly 
applied, an excellent handmaid to divinity, and is a 
talent which, if God gives men a heart, affords them a 
great advantage to do great things for the advancement 
of the kingdom of Christ, and the good of the souls of 
men. That learning and knowledge should greatly in 
crease before the glorious times, seems to be foretold, 
Dan. xii. 4. "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and 
seal the book, even to the time of the end : many shall 
run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." And 
however little now learning is applied to the advance 
ment of religion ; yet we may hope that the days are 
approaching wherein God will make great use of it for 
the advancement of the kingdom of Christ. 

God in his providence now seems to be acting over 
again the same part which he did a little before Christ 
came. The age wherein Christ came into the world, 
was an age wherein learning greatly prevailed, and was 
at a greater height than ever it had been before ; and 
yet wickedness never prevailed more than then. God 
was pleased to suffer human learning to come to such a 
height before he sent forth the gospel into the world, that 
the world might see the insufficiency of all their own 
wisdom for the obtaining the knowledge of God, without 
the gospel of Christ, and the teachings of his Spirit: and 
then, after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wis 
dom knew not God, it pleased God, by the foolishness 
of preaching, to save them that believe. And when the 
gospel came to prevail first without the help of man s 
wisdom, then God was pleased to make use of learning 
as an handmaid. So now learning is at a great height 
at this day in the world, far beyond what it was in the 
age when Christ appeared ; and now the world, by their 
learning and wisdom, do not know God ; and they seem 
to wander in darkness, are miserably deluded, stumble 
and fall in matters of religion, as in midnight darkness. 
Trusting to their learning, they grope in the day time as 
in the night. Learned men are exceedingly divided in 
their opinions concerning the matters of religion, run 
into all manner of corrupt opinions, and pernicious and 
foolish errors. They scorn to submit their reason to di 
vine revelation, to believe any thing that is above their 
comprehension ; and so being wise in their own eyes, 
they become fools, and even vain in their imaginations, 
and turn the truth of God into a lie, and their foolish 
hearts are darkened. See Rom. i. 21. &c. 
25 



290 A HISTORY OF THE 

But yet, when God has sufficiently shown men the in 
sufficiency of human wisdom and learning for the pur 
poses of religion, and when the appointed time comes for 
that glorious outpouring of the Spirit of God, when he 
will himself by his own immediate influence enlighten 
men s minds ; then may we hope that God will make 
use of the great increase of learning as an handmaid to 
religion, as a means of the glorious advancement of the 
kingdom of his Son. Then shall human learning be sub 
servient to the understanding of the scriptures, and to a 
clear explanation and a glorious defence of the doctrines 
of Christianity. And there is no doubt to be made of it, 
that God in his providence has of late given the world 
the art of printing, and such a great increase of learning, 
to prepare for what he designs to accomplish for his 
church in the approaching days of its prosperity. And 
thus the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the just, 
agreeable to Prov. xiii. 22. 

Having now shown how the work of redemption has 
been carried on from the fall of man to the present time, 
before I proceed any further, I would make some Appli 
cation. 

1. From what has been said, we may see great evi 
dence of the truth of the Christian religion, and that the 
scriptures are the word of God. There are three argu 
ments of this, which I shall take notice of, which may be 
drawn from what has been said. 

(1.) It may be argued from that violent and inveterate 
opposition there has always appeared of the wickedness 
of the world against this religion. The religion that the 
church of God has professed from the first founding of 
the church after the fall to this time, has always been the 
same. Though the dispensations have been altered, yet 
the religion which the church has professed has always, 
as to its essentials, been the same. The church of God, 
from the beginning, has been one society. The Christ 
ian church which has been since Christ s ascension, is 
manifestly the same society continued with the church, 
that was before Christ came. The Christian church is 
grafted on their root: they are built on thesame founda 
tion. The revelation on which both have depended, is 
essentially the same : for as the Christian church is built 
on the holy scriptures, so was the Jewish church, though 
now the scriptures be enlarged by the addition of the 
New Testament; but still it is essentially the same reve 
lation with that which was given in the Old Testament 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 291 

only the subjects of divine revelation are now more 
clearly revealed in the New Testament than they were 
in the" Old. But the sum and substance of both the Old 
Testament and New, is Christ and his redemption. The 
religion of the church of Israel, was essentially the same 
religion with that of the Christian church, as evidently 
appears from what has been said. The ground work of 
the religion of the church of God, both before and since 
Christ has appeared, is the same great scheme of redemp 
tion by the Son of God ; and so the church that was be 
fore the Israelitish church, was still the same society, and 
it was essentially the same religion that was professed 
and practised in it. Thus it was from Noah to Abraham, 
and thus it was before the flood. And this society of 
men that is called the church, has always been built on 
the foundation of those revelations which we have in the 
scriptures, which have always been essentially the same, 
though gradually increasing. The church before the 
flood, was built on the foundation of those revelations 
of Christ which were given to Adam, and Abel, and 
Enoch, of which we have an account in the former chap 
ters of Genesis, and others of the like import. The 
church after the flood, was built on the foundation of the 
revelations made to Noah and Abraham, to Melchise- 
dec, Isaac, and Jacob, to Joseph, Job, and other holy 
men of whom we have an account in the scriptures, or 
other revelations that were to the same purpose. And 
after this the church depended on the scriptures them 
selves as they gradually increased ; so that the church 
of God has always been bu, U on the foundations of di 
vine revelation, and always on those revelations that 
were essentially the same, and which are summarily 
comprehended in the holy scriptures, and ever since 
about Moses time have been built on the scriptures 
themselves. 

So that the opposition which lias been made to the 
church of God in all ages, has always been against the 
same religion, and the same revelation. Now therefore 
the violent and perpetual opposition that has ever been 
made by the corruption and wickedness of mankind 
against this church, is a strong argument of the truth of 
this religion, and this revelation, upon which the church 
has always been built. Contraries are well argued one 
from another. We may well and safely argue, that a 
thing is good, according to the degree of opposition in 
which it stands to evil, or the degree in which evil or> 



292 A HISTORY OF THE 

poses it, and is an enemy to it. We may well argue, 
that a thing is light, by the great enmity which darkness 
has to it. Now it is evident, by the things which you 
have heard concerning the church of Christ, and that 
holy religion of Jesus Christ which it has professed, that 
the wickedness of the world has had a perpetual hatred 
to it, and has made most violent opposition against it. 

That the church of God has always met with great 
opposition in the world, none can deny. This is plain 
by profane history as far as that reaches ; and before 
that, divine history gives us the same account. The 
church of God, and its religion and worship, began to be 
opposed in Cain s and Abel s time, and was so when the 
earth was filled with violence in Noah s time. And af 
ter this, how was the church opposed in Egypt ! and 
how was the church of Israel always hated by the na 
tions round about, agreeable to that in Jer. xii. 9. " Mine 
heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round 
about are against her." And after the Babylonish cap 
tivity, how "was this church persecuted by Antiochus 
Epiphanes and others ! and how was Christ persecuted 
when he was on earth ! and how were the apostles and 
other Christians persecuted by the Jews before the de 
struction of Jerusalem by the Romans ! How violent 
were that people against the church ! and how dreadful 
was the opposition of the heathen world against the 
Christian church after this before Constantine! How 
great was their spite against the true religion ! And 
since that, how yet more violent, and spiteful, and cruel, 
has been the opposition of Antichrist against the 
church ! 

There is no other such instance of opposition. His 
tory gives no account of any other body of men that 
have been so hated, and so maliciously and insatiably 
pursued and persecuted, nor any thing like it. No other 
religion ever was so maligned age after age. The na 
tions of other professions have enjoyed their religions in 
peace and quietness, however they have differed from 
their neighbours. One nation has worshipped one sort 
of gods, and others another, without molesting or dis 
turbing one another about it. All the spite and opposi 
tion has been against this religion which the church of 
Christ has professed. All other religions have seemed to 
show an implacable enmity to this; and men have 
seemed to have, from one age to another, such a spite 
against it, that they have seemed as though they could 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 293 

never satisfy their cruelty. They put their invention 
upon the rack to find out torments that should be cruel 
enough ; and yet, after all, never seemed to be satisfied. 
Their thirst has never been satisfied with blood. 

So that this is out of doubt, that this religion, and these 
scriptures, have always been malignantly opposed in the 
world. The only question that remains is, What it is 
that has made this opposition? Whether or not it has 
been good or bad? Whether it be the wickedness and 
corruption of the world, or not, that has done this? 
But of this there can be no greater doubt than of the 
other, if we consider how causeless this cruelty has 
always been, who the opposers have been, and the man 
ner in which they have opposed. The opposition has 
chiefly been from heathenism and Popery ; which things 
certainly are evil. They are both of them very evil, and 
the fruits of the blindness, corruption, and wickedness 
of men, as the very Deists themselves confess. The 
light of nature shows, that the religion of heathens, con 
sisting in the worship of idols, andlsacrificing their child 
ren to them, and in obscene and abominable rites and 
ceremonies, is wickedness. And the superstitions, and 
idolatries, and usurpations, of the church of Rome, are 
no less contrary to the light of nature. By this it ap 
pears, that this opposition which has been made against 
the church of God, has been made by wicked men. And 
with regard to the opposition of the Jews in Christ s and 
the apostles times, it was in a most corrupt time of that 
nation, when the people were generally become exceed 
ing wicked, as some of the Jewish writers themselves, 
as^Josephus and others, who lived about that time, do 
expressly say. And that it has been mere wickedness 
that has made this opposition, is manifest from the man 
ner of opposition, the extreme violence, injustice, and 
cruelty, with which the church of God has been treated. 
It seems to show the hand of malignant infernal spirits 
in it. 

Now, what reason can be assigned, why the corrup 
tion and wickedness of the world should so implacably 
set itself against this religion of Jesus Christ, and against 
the scriptures, but only that they are contrary to wick 
edness, and consequently aft good and holy? Why 
should the enemies of Christ, for so many thousand 
years together, manifest such a mortal hatred of this re 
ligion, but only that it is the cause of God ? If the scrip 
tures be not the word of God, and the religion of the 
25* 



294 A HISTORY OF THE 

church of Christ be not the true religion, then it must 
follow, that it is a most wicked religion ; nothing but a 
pack of lies and abominable delusions, invented by the 
enemies of God themselves. And if this were so, it is not 
likely that the enemies of God, and the wickedness of 
the world, would have maintained such a perpetual and 
implacable enmity against it. 

(2..) It is a great argument that the Christian church 
and its religion is from God, that it has been upheld 
hitherto through all the opposition and dangers it has 
passed through. That the church of God and the true 
religion, which has been so continually and violently op 
posed, with so many endeavours to overthrow it, and 
which has so often been brought to the brink of ruin, 
and almost swallowed up, through the greatest part of 
six thousand years, has yet been upheld, does most re 
markably show the hand of God in favour of the church. 
If we consider it, it will appear one of the greatest won 
ders and miracles that ever came to pass. There is no 
thing else like it upon the face of the earth. There is no 
other society of men that has stood as the church has. 
As to the old world, which was before the flood, that was 
overthrown by a deluge of waters; but yet the church 
of God was preserved. Satan s visible kingdom on 
earth was then once entirely overthrown ; but the visi 
ble kingdom of Christ never has been overthrown. All 
those ancient human kingdoms and monarchies of which 
we read, and which have been in former ages, are long 
since come to an end. Those kingdoms of which we 
read in the Old Testament, of the Moabites, the Am 
monites, the Edomites, &c. are all Jong ago come to 
an end. Those four great monarchies of the world have 
been overthrown one after another. The great empire 
of proud Babylon was overthrown by the Persians; and 
then the Persian empire was overthrown by the Greeks ; 
after this the Grecian empire was overthrown by the 
Romans ; and, finally, the Roman empire fell a sacrifice 
to various barbarous nations. Here is a remarkable ful 
filment of the words of the text with respect to other 
things, even the greatest and most glorious of them : 
they have all grown old, and have vanished away ; " the 
moth has eaten them up ffke a garment, and the worm 
has eaten them like wool ;" but yet God s church re 
mains. 

Never were there so many and so potent endeavours 
to destroy any thing else, as there have been to destroy 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 295 

the church. Other kingdoms and societies of men, which 
have appeared to be ten times as strong as the church 
of God, have been destroyed with an hundredth part of 
the opposition which the church of God has met with : 
which shows, that it is God who has been the protector of 
the church. For it is most plain, that it has not upheld 
itself by its own strength. For the most part, it has been 
a very weak society. They have been a little flock: so 
they were of old. The children of Israel were but a 
small handful of people, in comparison of the many who 
often sought their overthrow. And so in Christ s time, 
arid in the beginning of the Christian church after Christ s 
resurrection, they were but a remnant: whereas the 
whole multitude of the Jewish nation were against them. 
And so in the beginning of the Gentile church, they were 
but a small number in comparison with the heathen, 
who sought their overthrow. And so in the dark times 
of Antichrist, before the Reformation, they were but a 
handful; and yet their enemies could not overthrow 
them. And it has commonly been so, that the enemies 
of the church have not only had the greatest number on 
their side, but they have had the strength on their side 
in other respects. They have commonly had all the 
civil authority on their side. So it was in Egypt : the 
civil authority was on the side of the Egyptians, and the 
church were only their slaves, and were in their hands; 
and yet they could not overthrow them. And so it was 
in the time of the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes : 
the authority was all on the side of the persecutors, and 
the church was under their dominion ; and yet all their 
cruelty could not extirpate it. And so it was afterwards 
in the time of the heathen Roman government. And so 
it was in the time of Julian the apostate, who did his 
utmost to overthrow the Christian church, and to restore 
heathenism. And so it has been for the most part since 
the rise of Antichrist : for a great many ages, the civil 
authority was all on the side of Antichrist, and the 
church seemed to be in their hands. 

And not only has the strength of the enemies of the 
church been greater than the strength of the church, but 
ordinarily the church has not used what strength they 
have had in their own defence, but have committed 
themselves wholly to God. So it was in the time of the 
Jewish persecutions before the destruction of Jerusalem 
by the Romans; and so it was in the time of the heathen 
persecutions before Constantine ; the Christians did not 



296 



A HISTORY OF THE 



only not rise up in arms to defend themselves, but they 
did not pretend to make any forcible resistance to their 
heathen persecutors. So it has for the most part been 
under the Popish persecutions ; and yet they have never 
been able to overthrow the church of God; but it stands 
to this very day. 

And this is still the more exceeding wonderful, if we 
consider how often the church has been brought to the 
brink of ruin, and the case seemed to be desperate, and 
all hope gone, and they seemed to be swallowed up. In 
the time of the old world, when wickedness so prevailed, as 
that but one family was left, yet God wonderfully appear 
ed, and overthrew the wicked world with a flood, and 
preserved his church. And so at the Red Sea, when 
Pharaoh and his host thought they were quite sure of 
their prey ; yet God appeared, and destroyed them, and 
delivered his church. And so was it from time to time 
in the church of Israel, as has been shown. So under 
the tenth and last heathen persecution, their persecutors 
boasted that now they had done the business for the 
Christians, and had overthrown the Christian church; 
yet in the midst of their triumph, the Christian church 
rises out of the dust and prevails, and the heathen empire 
totally falls before it. So when the Christian church 
seemed ready to be swallowed up by the Arian heresy ; 
so when Antichrist rose and prevailed, and all the world 
wondered after the beast, and the church for many hun 
dred years was reduced to such a small number, and 
seemed to be hidden, and the power of the world was 
engaged to destroy those little remainders of the church ; 
vet they could never fully accomplish their design, and 
at last God wonderfully revived his church in the time 
of the Reformation, and made it to stand as it were on 
Us feet in the sight of its enemies, and raised it out of 
their reach. And^so since, when the Popish powers have 
plotted the overthrow of the Reformed church, and have 
seemed just about to bring their matters to a conclusion, 
and to finish their design, then God has wonderfully ap 
peared for the deliverance of his church, as it was in the 
time of the Revolution by King William. And so it has 
been from time to time : presently after the darkest times 
of the church, God has made his church most gloriously 
to flourish. 

If such a preservation of the church of God, from the 
beginning of the world hitherto, attended with such cir 
cumstances, is not sufficient to shew a divine hand in 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 297 

favour of it, what can be devised that would be suffi 
cient! But if this be from the divine hand, then God 
owns the church, and owns her religion, and owns that 
revelation and those scriptures on which she is built ; 
and so it will follow, that their religion is the true reli 
gion, or God s religion, and that the scriptures, which 
they make their rule, are his word. 

(3.) We may draw this further argument for the di 
vine authority of the scriptures from what has been said, 
viz. that God has so fulfilled those things which are fore 
told in the scriptures. I have already observed, as I 
went along, how the prophecies of scripture were fulfill 
ed : I shall now therefore single out but two instances 
of the fulfilment of scripture prophecy. 

[1.] One is in preserving his church from being ruined. 
I have just now shown what an evidence this is of the 
divine authority of the scriptures in itself considered: I 
now speak of it as a fulfilment of scripture prophecy. 
This is abundantly foretold and promised in the scrip 
tures, as particularly in the text : there it is foretold, that 
other things shall fail, other kingdoms and monarchies, 
which set themselves in opposition shall come to no 
thing : " the moth should eat them up like a garment, 
and the worm should eat them like wool." And so it 
has in fact come to pass. But it is here foretold, that 
God s covenant mercy to his church shall continue for 
ever; and so it hath hitherto proved, though no wit be so 
many ages since, and though the church has passed 
through so many dangers. The same is promised, Isa. 
liv. 7. "No weapon that is formed against thee, shall 
prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee 
in judgment, thou shalt condemn." And again, Isa. xlix. 
14, 15, 16. "But Zion said, The Lord hathYorsaken me, 
and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget 
her sucking child, that she should not have compassion 
on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will 
I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the 
palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before 
me." The same is promised again in Isa. lix. 21. and 
Isa. xliii. 1, 2. and Zech. xii. 2, 3. So Christ promises 
the same, when he says, " On this rock will 1 build my 
church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." 
Now if this be not from God, and the scriptures be not 
the word of God, and the church of Christ built on the 
foundation of this word be not of God, how could the 
persons who foretold this, know it ] For if the church 



298 A HISTORY OF THE 

were not of God, it was a very unlikely thing ever to 
come to pass. For they foretold the great opposition, 
and the great dangers, and also foretold that other king 
doms should come to nought, and that the church should 
often be almost swallowed up, as it were easy to show, 
and yet foretold that the church should remain. Now, 
how could they foresee so unlikely a thing but by divine 
inspiration 1 

[2.] The other remarkable instance which I shall 
mention of the fulfilment of scripture prophecy, is in 
fulfilling what is foretold concerning Antichrist, a cer 
tain great opposer of Christ and his kingdom. And 
the way that this Antichrist should arise, is foretold, viz. 
not among the heathen, or those nations that never pro 
fessed Christianity ; but that he should arise by the 
apostasy and falling away of the Christian church into a 
corrupt state: 2 Thes. ii. 3. "For that day shall not 
come, except there come a falling away first, and that 
man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." And it is 
prophesied, that this Antichrist, or man of sin, should be 
one, that should set himself up in the temple or visible 
church of God, pretending to be vested with the power 
of God himself, as head of the church, as in the same 
chapter, ver. 4. And all this is exactly come to pass in 
the church of Rome. Again, it is intimated, that the rise 
of Antichrist should be gradual, as there, ver. 7. " For 
the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who 
now letteth, will let, until he be taken out of the way." 
This also came to pass. Again, it is prophesied of such 
a great and mighty enemy of the Christian church, that 
he should be a great prince or monarch of the Roman 
empire: so he is represented as an horn of the fourth 
beast in Daniel, or fourth kingdom or monarchy upon 
earth, as the angel himself explains it, as you may see 
of the little horn in the 7th chapter of Daniel. This also 
came to pass. Yea it is prophesied, that the seat of this 
great prince, or pretended vicar of God, and head of his 
church, should be in the city of Rome itself. In the 17th 
chapter of Revelation, it is said expressly, that the spirit 
ual whore, or false church, should have her seat on seven 
mountains or hills : Rev. xvii. 9. " The seven heads are 
seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth :" and in 
the last verse of the chapter, it is said expressly, " The 
woman which thou sawest, is that great city, which 
reigneth over the kings of the earth ;" which it is certain 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 299 

was at that time the city of Rome. This prophecy also 
has come to pass in the church of Rome. 

Further, it was prophesied, that this Antichrist should 
reign over peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and 
tongues, Rev. xvii. 15. and that all the world should 
wonder after the beast, Rev. xiii. 3. This also came to 
pass in the church of Rome. It was foretold that this 
Antichrist should be eminent and remarkable for the sin 
of pride, pretending to great things, and assuming very 
much to himself: so in the forementioned place in Thes- 
salonians, " That he should exalt himself above all that 
is called God," or that is worshipped. So Rev. xiii. 5. 
"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great 
things, and blasphemies." Dan. vii. 20. the little horn is 
said to have a mouth speaking very great things, and 
his look to be more stout than his fellows. This also 
came to pass in the Pope, and the church of Rome. It 
was also prophesied, that Antichrist should be an ex 
ceeding cruel persecutor, Dan. vii. 21. The same horn 
made war with the saints, and prevailed against them: 
Rev. xiii. 7. "And it was given unto him to make war 
with the saints, and to overcome them." Rev. xvii. 6. 
"And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the 
saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." 
This also came to pass in the church of Rome. It was 
foretold, that Antichrist should excel in craft and policy : 
Dan. vii. 8. " In this horn were eyes like the eyes of a 
man." And verse 20. " Even of that horn that had eyes." 
This also came to pass in the church of Rome. It was 
foretold, that the kings of Christendom should be sub 
ject to Antichrist: Rev. xvii. 12, 13. "And the ten horns 
which thou sawest, are ten kings, which have received 
no kingdom as yet ; but receive power as kings one 
hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall 
give their power and strength unto the beast." This 
also came to pass with respect to the Romish church. 
It was foretold, that he should perform pretended mira 
cles and lying wonders : 2 Thess. ii. 9. " Whose coming 
is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, 
and lying wonders." Rev. xiii. 13, 14. "And he doth 
great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from 
heaven on the earth, in the sight of men, and deceiveth 
them that dwell on the earth, by the means of those 
miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the 
beast." This also came to pass in the church of Rome. 
Fire coming down from heaven, seems to have refer- 



300 A HISTORY OF THE 

ence to their excommunications, which were dreaded like 
fire from heaven. It was foretold, that he should forbid 
to marry, and command to abstain from meats : 1 Tim. iv. 
3. "Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain 
from meats, which God had created to be received with 
thanksgiving." This also is exactly fulfilled in the 
church of Rome. It was foretold, that he should be very 
rich, and arrive at a great degree of earthly splendor 
and glory : Rev. xvii. 4. " And the woman was arrayed 
in purple, and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and 
precious stones, and pearls, having a golden cup in her 
hand." And so chap, xviii. 7. 12, 13. 16. This also is 
come to pass with respect to the church of Rome. It 
was foretold, that he should forbid any to buy or sell, 
but those that had his mark; Rev. xiii. 17. "And that 
no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or 
the name of the beast, or the number of his name." This 
also is fulfilled in the church of Rome. It was foretold, 
that he should sell the souls of men, Rev. xviii. 13. where, 
in enumerating the articles of his merchandise, the souls 
of men are mentioned as one. This also is exactly ful 
filled in the same church. It was foretold, that Anti 
christ would not suffer the bodies of God s people to be 
put into graves : Rev. xi. 8, 9. " And their dead bodies 
shall lie in the street of the great city and they shall 
not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves." This 
also has literally come to pass with respect to the church 
of Rome. I might mention many other things which 
were foretold of Antichrist, or that great enemy of the 
church so often spoken of in scripture, and show that 
they were fulfilled most exactly in the Pope and the 
church of Rome. 

How strong an argument was this, that the scriptures 
are the word of God ! 

2. But I come now to a second inference; which is 
this : from what has been said, we may learn what the 
spirit of true Christians is, viz. a spirit of suffering. 
Seeing God has so ordered it in his providence, that his 
church should for so long a time, for the greater part of 
so many ages, be in a suffering state, yea, and often in a 
state of such extreme suffering, we may conclude, that 
the spirit of the true church is a suffering spirit, otherwise 
God never would have ordered so much suffering for the 
church ; for doubtless God accommodates the state and 
circumstances of the church to the spirit that he has 
given them. We see by what has been said, how many 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 301 

and great suffering the Christian church for the most 
part has been under for these 1700 years: no wonder 
therefore that Christ so much inculcated upon his disci 
ples, that it was necessary, that if any would be his dis 
ciples, " they must deny themselves and take up their 
cross and follow him." 

And we may argue, that the spirit of the true church 
of Christ is a suffering spirit, by the spirit the church has 
shown and exercised under her sufferings. She has ac 
tually, under those terrible persecutions through which 
she has passed, rather chosen to undergo those dreadful 
torments and to sell all for the pearl of great price, to 
suffer all that her bitterest enemies could inflict, than to 
renounce Christ and his religion. History furnishes us 
with a great number of remarkable instances, sets in 
view a great cloud of witnesses. This abundantly con 
firms the necessity of being of a spirit to sell all for 
Christ, to renounce our own ease, our own worldly 
profit, and honour, and our all, for him, and for the 
gospel. 

Let us inquire, whether we are of such a spirit. How 
does it prove upon trial ] Does it prove in fact that we 
are willing to deny ourselves, and renounce our own 
worldly interest, and to pass through the trials to which 
we are called in providence 1 Alas, how small are our 
trials, compared with those of many of our fellow Christ 
ians in former ages ! And I would on this occasion ap 
ply that in Jer. xii. 5. " If thou hast run with the footmen, 
and they have wearied thee, then, how canst thou con 
tend with horses !" If you have not been able to endure 
the light trials to which you have heen called in this age, 
and in this land, how would you be able to endure the 
far greater trials to which the church has been called in 
former ages? Every true Christian has the spirit of a 
martyr, and would suffer as a martyr, if he were called 
to it in providence. 

3. Hence we learn what great reason we have, assu 
redly to expect the fulfilment of what yet remains to be 
fulfilled of things foretold in scripture. The scriptures 
foretel many great things yet to be fulfilled before the 
end of the world. But there seem to be great difficulties 
in the way. We seem at present to be very far from 
such a state as is foretold in the scriptures; but we have 
abundant reason to expect, that these things, however 
seemingly difficult, will yet be accomplished in their sea 
son. We see the faithfulness of God to his promises 
26 



302 A HISTORY OF THE 

hitherto. How true has God been to his church, and re 
membered his mercy from generation to generation ! 
We may say concerning what God has done hitherto for 
his church, as Joshua said to the children ?f Israel, Josh, 
xxiii. 14. * That not one thing hath failed of all the Lord 
our God hath spoken concerning his church ;" but all 
things are hitherto come to pass, agreeable to the divine 
prediction. This should strengthen our faith in those 
promises, and encourage us, and stir us up to earnest 
prayer to God for the accomplishment of the great and 
glorious things which yet remain to be fulfilled. 

It has already been shown how the success of Christ s 
redemption was carried on through various periods down 
to the present time. 

4thly, I come now to show how the success of Christ s 
redemption will be carried on from the present time, un 
til Antichrist is fallen, and Satan s visible kingdom on 
earth is destroyed. And with respect to this space of 
time, we have nothing to guide us but the prophecies of 
scripture. Through most of the time from the fall of 
man to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, we 
had scripture history to guide us ; and from thence to 
the present time we had prophecy, together with the ac 
complishment of it in providence, as related in human 
histories. But henceforward we have only prophecy to 
guide us. And here I would pass by those things that 
are only conjectural, or that are surmised by some from 
those prophecies which are doubtful in their interpreta 
tion, and shall insist only on those things which are more 
clear and evident. 

We know not what particular events are to come to 
pass before that glorious work of God s Spirit begins, by 
which Satan s kingdom is to be overthrown. By the 
consent of most divines, there are but few things, if any 
at all, that are foretold to be accomplished before the be 
ginning of that glorious work of God. Some think the 
slaying of the witnesses, Rev. xi. 7, 8. is not yet accom 
plished. So divines differ with respect to the pour 
ing out of the seven vials, of which we have an account 
RPV. xvi. how many are already poured out, or how 
many remain to be poured out ; though a late expositor 
whom I have before mentioned to you, seems to make it 
very plain and evident, that all are already poured out 
but two, viz. the sixth on the river Euphrates, and the 
seventh into the air. But I will not now stand to inquire 
what is intended by the pouring out of the sixth vial on 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 303 

the river Euphrates, that the way of the kings of the 
east may be prepared ; but only would say, that it seems 
to be something immediately preparing the way for the 
destruction of the spiritual Babylon, as the drying up of 
the river Euphrates, which ran through the midst of old 
Babylon, was what prepared the way of the kings of the 
Medes and Persians, the kings of the east, to come in un 
der the walls, and destroy that city. 

But whatever this be, it does not appear that it is any 
thing which shall be accomplished before that work of 
God s Spirit is begun, by which, as it goes on, Satan s 
visible kingdom on earth shall be utterly overthrown. 
And therefore I would proceed directly to consider what 
the scripture reveals concerning the work of God itself, 
by which he will bring about this great event, as being 
the next thing which is to be accomplished that we are 
certain of from the prophecies of scripture. 

And, first, I would observe two things in general con 
cerning it. 

1. We have all reason to conclude from the scriptures, 
that just before this work of God begins, it will be a very 
dark time with respect to the interests of religion in the 
world. It has been so before those glorious revivals of 
religion that have been hitherto. It was so when Christ 
came ; it was an exceeding degenerate time among the 
Jews : and so it was a very dark time before the Refor 
mation. And not only so, but it seems to be foretold in 
scripture, that it shall be a time of but little religion, 
when Christ shall come to set up his kingdom in the 
world. Thus when Christ spake of his coming to en 
courage his elect, who cry to him day and night, in Luke 
xviii. 8, he adds this, " Nevertheless, when the Son of 
Man cometh, Shall he find faith on the earth ?" Which 
seems to denote a great prevalence of infidelity just be 
fore Christ s coming to avenge his suffering church. 
Though Christ s coming at the last judgment is not here 
to be excluded, yet there seems to be a special respect 
to his coming to deliver his church from their long con 
tinued suffering persecuted state, which is accomplished 
only at his coming at the destruction of Antichrist. 
That time that the elect cry to God, as in Rev. vi. 10. 
" How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge 
and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth 1" 
and the time spoken of in Rev. xviii. 20. " Rejoice over 
her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles, and prophets, for 



304 A HISTORY OF THE 

God hath avenged you on her," will then be accom 
plished. 

It is now a very dark time with respect to the inter 
ests of religion, and such a time as this prophesied of in 
this place ; wherein there is but a little faith, and a great 
prevailing of infidelity on the earth. There is now"a re 
markable fulfilment of that in 2 Pet. iii. 3. "Knowing 
this, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walk 
ing after their own lusts." And so Jude, 17, 18. "But 
beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken be 
fore of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ ; how that 
they told you there should be mockers in the last time, 
who should walk after their own ungodly lusts." Wheth 
er the times shall be any darker still, or how much dark 
er, before the beginning of this glorious work of God, we 
cannot tell. 

2. There is no reason from the word of God to think 
any other, than that this great work of God will be 
wrought, though very swiftly, yet gradually. As the 
children of Israel were gradually brought out of the 
Babylonish captivity, first one company, and then an 
other, and gradually rebuilt their city and temple ; and 
as the heathen Roman empire was destroyed by a gra 
dual, though a very swift prevalency of the gospel ; so, 
though there are many things which seem to hold forth 
as though the work of God would be exceeding swift, 
and many great and wonderful events should very sud 
denly be brought to pass, and some great parts of Sa 
tan s visible kingdom should have a very sudden fall, yet 
all will not be accomplished at once, as by some great 
miracle, as the resurrection of the dead at the end of the 
world will be all at once ; but this is a work which will 
be accomplished by means, by the preaching of the 
gospel, and the use of the ordinary means of grace, and 
so shall be gradually brought to pass. Some shall be 
converted, and be the means of the conversion of others. 
God s Spirit shall be poured out first to raise up instru 
ments, and then those instruments shall be used and suc 
ceeded. And doubtless one nation shall be enlightened 
and converted after another, one false religion and false 
way of worship exploded after another. By the repre 
sentation in Dan. ii. 3, 4. the stone cut out of the moun 
tain without hands gradually grows. So Christ teaches 
us, that the kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard 
seed, Matt. xiii. 31, 32. and like leaven hid in three mea 
sures of meal, ver. 33. The same representation we have 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 305 

in Mark iv. 26, 27, 28. and in the vision of the waters of 
the sanctuary, Ezek. xlvii. The scriptures hold forth as 
though there should be several successive great and glo 
rious events by which this work should be accomplished. 
The angel, speaking to the prophet Daniel of those glo 
rious times, mentions two glorious periods, at the end of 
which glorious things should be accomplished : Dan. xii. 
11. " And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be 
taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate 
set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety 
days." But then he adds in the next verse, " Blessed is 
he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hun 
dred and five and thirty days ;" intimating, that some 
thing very glorious should be accomplished at the end of 
the former period, but something much more glorious at 
the end of the latter. 

But I now proceed to show how this glorious work 
shall be accomplished. 

1. The Spirit of God shall be gloriously poured out for 
the wonderful revival and propagation of religion. This 
great work shall be accomplished, not by the authority 
of princes, nor by the wisdom of learned men, but by 
God s Holy Spirit : Zech. iv. 6, 7. " Not by might, nor by 
power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who 
art thou, O great mountain ? Before Zertibbabel thou 
shalt become a plain, and he shall bring forth the head 
stone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto 
it." So the prophet Ezekiel, speaking of this great work 
of God, says, chap, xxxix. 29. "Neither will I hide my 
face any more from them; for I have poured out my 
Spirit on the house of Israel, saith the Lord God." We 
know not where this pouring out of the Spirit shall be 
gin, or whether in many places at once, or whether, 
what hath already been, be not some forerunner and be 
ginning of it. 

This pouring out of the Spirit of God, when it is be 
gun, shall soon bring great multitudes to forsake that 
vice and wickedness which now so generally prevails, 
and shall cause that vital religion, which is now so de 
spised and laughed at in the world, to revive. The work 
of conversion shall break forth, and go on in such a man 
ner as never has been hitherto ; agreeable to that in Isa. 
xliv. 3, 4, 5. God, by pouring out his Holy Spirit, will 
furnish men to be glorious instruments of carrying on 
this work; will fill them with knowledge and wisdom, 
and fervent zeal for the promoting the kingdom of Christ, 



306 A HISTORY OF THE 

and the salvation of souls, and propagating the gospel m 
the world. So that the gospel shall begin to be preached 
with abundantly greater clearness and power than had 
heretofore been : for this great work of God shall be 
brought to pass by the preaching of the gospel, as is re 
presented in Rev. xiv. 6, 7, 8. that before Babylon falls, 
the gospel shall be powerfully preached and propagated 
in the world. 

This was typified of old by the sounding of the silver 
trumpets in Israel in the beginning of their jubilee: Lev. 
xxv. 9. " Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubi 
lee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month ; on 
the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound 
throughout all your land." The glorious times which 
are approaching, are as it were the church s jubilee, 
which shall be introduced by the sounding of the silver 
trumpet of the gospel, as is foretold in Isa. xxvii. 13. 
" And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great 
trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were 
ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts 
of the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the 
holy mount at Jerusalem." And there shall be a glori 
ous pouring out of the Spirit with this clear and power 
ful preaching of the gospel, to make it successful for re 
viving those holy doctrines of religion which are now 
chiefly ridiculed in the world, and turning many from 
heresy, and from Popery, and from other false religion ; 
and also for turning many from their vice and profane- 
ness, and for bringing vast multitudes savingly home to 
Christ. 

That work of conversion shall go on in a wonderful 
manner, and spread more and more. Many shall flow 
together to the goodness of the Lord, and shall come as 
it were in flocks, one flock and multitude after another 
continually flowing in, as in Isa. lx. 4, 5. "Lift up thine 
eyes round about, and see; all they gather themselves 
together, they come to thee ; thy sons shall come from 
far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then 
thou shalt see and flow together." And so verse 8. 
" Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to 
their windows?" And it being represented in the fore- 
mentioned place in the Revelation, that the gospel shall 
be preached to every tongue, and kindred, and nation, 
and people, before the fall of Antichrist; so we may sup 
pose, that it will soon be gloriously successful to bring 
in multitudes from every nation; and it shall spread 



OF REDEMPTION. 30? 

more and more with wonderful swiftness, and vast 
numbers shall suddenly be brought in as it were at once, 
as you may see, Isa. Ixvi. 7, 8, 9. 

2. This pouring out of the Spirit of God will not effect 
the overthrow of Satan s visible kingdom, until there has 
first been a violent and mighty opposition made. In this 
the scripture is plain, that when Christ is thus gloriously 
coming forth, and the destruction of Antichrist is ready 
at hand, and Satan s kingdom begins to totter, and to 
appear to be imminently threatened, the powers of the 
kingdom of darkness will rise up, and mightily exert 
themselves to prevent their kingdom being overthrown. 
Thus after the pouring out the sixth vial, which was to 
dry up the river Euphrates, to prepare the way for the 
destruction of spiritual Babylon, it is represented in Rev. 
xvi. as though the powers of hell will be mightily alarm 
ed, and should stir up themselves to oppose the kingdom 
of Christ, before the seventh and last vial shall be poured 
out, which shall give them a final and complete over 
throw. We have an account of the pouring out of the 
sixth in verse 12. And then upon this, the beloved dis 
ciple informs us in the following verses, that "three un 
clean spirits like frogs shall go forth unto the kings of 
the earth, to gather them together to the battle of the 
great day of God Almighty." This seems to be the last 
and greatest effort of Satan to save his kingdom from 
being overthrown ; though perhaps he may make as 
great towards the end of the world to regain it. 

When the Spirit begins to be so gloriously poured 
forth, and the devil sees such multitudes flocking to 
Christ in one nation and another, and the foundations 
of his kingdom daily undermining, and the pillars of it 
breaking, and the whole ready to come to swift and sud 
den destruction, it will greatly alarm all hell. Satan has 
ever had a dread of having his kingdom overthrown, 
and he has been opposing of it ever since Christ s ascen 
sion, and has been doing great works to fortify his king 
dom, and to prevent it, ever since the day of Constan- 
tine the Great. To this end he has set up those two 
mighty kingdoms of Antichrist and Mahomet, and 
brought in all the heresies, and superstitions, and cor 
rupt opinions, which there are in the world. But when 
he sees all begin to fail, it will rouse him up exceedingly. 
If Satan dreaded being cast out of the Roman empire, 
how much more does he dread being cast out of the 
whole world ! 



308 A HISTORY OP THE 

It seems as though in this last great opposition which 
shall be made against the church to defend the kingdom 
of Satan, all the forces of Antichrist, and Mahometanism, 
and heathenism, will be united ; all the forces of Satan s 
visible kingdom through the whole world of mankind. 
Arid therefore it is said, that " spirits of devils shall go 
forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, 
to gather them together to the battle of the great day of 
God Almighty." And these spirits are said to come out 
of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the 
beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet ; i. e. there 
shall be the spirit of Popery, and the spirit of Mahometan- 
ism, and the spirit of heathenism, all united. By the beast 
is meant Antichrist ; by the dragon, in this book, is com 
monly meant the devil, as he reigns over his heathen 
kingdom ; by the false prophet, in this book, is some 
times meant the Pope and his clergy : but here an eye 
seems to be had to Mahomet, whom his followers call 
the great prophet of God. This will be as it were the 
dying struggles of the old serpent ; a battle wherein he 
will fight as one that is almost desperate. 

We" know not particularly in what manner this op 
position shall be made. It is represented as a battle ; it 
is called the battle of the great day of God Almighty. 
There will be some way or other a mighty struggle be 
tween Satan s kingdom and the church, and probably in 
all wa) s of opposition that can be ; and doubtless great 
opposition by external force; wherein the princes of the 
world who are on the devil s side shall join hand in hand: 
for it is said, " The kings of the earth are gathered to 
gether to battle," Rev. xix. 19. And probably withal 
there will be great opposition of subtle disputers and 
carnal reasoning, and great persecution in many places, 
and great opposition by virulent reproaches, and also 
greaf opposition by craft and subtlety. The devil now 
doubtless will ply his skill, as well as strength, to the 
utmost. The devils, and those who belong to their king 
dom, will every where be stirred up, and engaged to 
make an united and violent opposition against this holy 
religion, which they see prevailing so mightily in the 
world. But, 

3. Christ and his church shall in this battle obtain a 
complete and entire victory over their enemies. They 
shall be totally routed and overthrown in this their last 
effort. When the powers of hell and earth are thus 
gathered together against Christ, and his armies shall 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 309 

come forth against them by his word and Spirit to fight 
with them, in how august, and pompous, and glorious a 
manner is this coming forth of Christ and his church to 
this battle described ! Rev. xix. 11. &c. And to repre 
sent to us how great the victory should be which they 
should obtain, and how mighty the overthrow of their 
enemies, it is said, verses 17, 18. that " all the fowls of 
heaven are called together, to eat the great supper given 
them, of the flesh of kings, and captains, and mighty men," 
&c. and then, in the following verses, we have an account 
of the victory and overthrow. 

In this victory, the seventh vial shall be poured out. 
It is said, Rev. xvi. 16. of the great army that should be 
gathered together against Christ : " and he gathered 
them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue, 
Armageddon;" and then it is said, "And the seventh 
angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a 
great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, 
saying, It is done." Now the business is done for Satan 
and his adherents. When this victory is obtained, all is 
in effect done. Satan s last and greatest opposition is 
conquered ; all his measures are defeated ; the pillars of 
his kingdom broken asunder, and will fall of course. 
The devil is utterly baffled and confounded, and knows 
not what else to do. He now sees his Antichristian, and 
Mahometan, and heathenish kingdoms through the world, 
all tumbling about his ears. He and his most powerful 
instruments are taken captive. Now that is in effect 
done which the church of God had been so long waiting 
and hoping for, and so earnestly crying to God for, say 
ing, " How long, O Lord, holy and true!" Now the time 
is come. 

The angel who set his right foot on the sea, and his 
left foot on the earth, lift up his hand to heaven, and 
swore by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created 
heaven, and all things that therein are, and the earth, 
and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the 
things which are therein, that when the seventh angel 
should come to sound, the time should be no longer. 
And now the time is come ; now the seventh trumpet 
sounds, and the seventh vial is poured out, both together; 
intimating, that now all is finished as to the overthrow 
of Satan s visible kingdom on earth. This victory shall 
be by far the greatest that ever was obtained over Satan 
and his adherents. By this blow, with which the stone 
cut out of the mountain without hands shall strike the 



310 A HISTORY OF THE 

image of gold, and silver, and brass, and iron, and clay, 
it shall all be broken to pieces. This will be a finishing 
blow to the image, so that it shall become as the chaff of 
the summer threshing floor. 

In this victory will be a most glorious display of divine 
power. Christ shall therein appear in the character of 
King of kings, and Lord of lords, as in Rev. xix. 16. 
Now Christ shall dash his enemies, even the strongest 
and proudest of them, in pieces; as a potter s vessel 
shall they be broken to shivers. Then shall strength be 
shown out of weakness, and Christ shall cause his church 
as it were to thresh the mountains, as in Isa. xli. 15. 
" Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instru 
ment having teeth : thou shalt thresh the mountains, and 
beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff." And 
then shall be fulfilled that in Isa. xlii. 13, 14, 15. 

4. Consequent on this victory, Satan s visible kingdom 
on earth shall be destroyed. When Satan is conquered 
in this last battle, the church of Christ will have easy 
work of it ; as when Joshua and the children of Israel 
had obtained that great victory over the five kings of 
the Amorites, when the sun stood still, and God sent 
great hailstones on their enemies, they after that went 
from one city to another, and burnt them with fire : they 
had easy work of subduing the cities and country to 
which they belonged. So it was also after that other 
great battle that Joshua had with that great multitude 
at the waters of Merom. So after this glorious victory 
of Christ and his church over their enemies, over the 
chief powers of Satan s kingdom, they shall destroy that 
kingdom in all those cities and countries to which they 
belonged. After this the word of God shall have a 
speedy and swift progress through the earth; as it is 
said, that on the pouring out of the seventh vial, " the 
cities of the nations fell, and every island fled away, and 
the mountains were not found," Rev. xvi. 19, 20. When 
once the stone cut out of the mountain without hands 
had broken the image in pieces, it was easy to abolish 
all remains of it. The very wind will carry it away as 
the chaff of the summer threshing floor. Because Sa 
tan s visible kingdom on earth shall now be destroyed, 
therefore it is said, that the seventh vial, by which this 
shall be done, shall be poured out into the air; which is 
represented in scripture as the special seat of his king- 
dom ; for he is called the prince of the power of the air, 
Eph. ii 2. Now is come the time for punishing levia- 



WOKJt OF REDEMPTION. 

fhan that piercing serpent, of which we read . 
xxvii. 1. " In that day the Lord with his sore and v 
and strong sword, shall punish leviathan the piei\ 
serpent, even leviathan, that crooked serpent, and .e 
shall slay the dragon that is in the sea." 

Concerning this overthrow of Satan s visible kingdom 
on earth, I would, 1. Show wherein this overthrow of 
Satan s visible kingdom will chiefly consist ; 2. The ex 
tent and universality of this overthrow. 

1. I would show wherein this overthrow of Satan s 
kingdom will chiefly consist. I shall mention the par 
ticular things in which it will consist, without pretend 
ing to determine in what order they shall come to pass, 
or which shall be accomplished first, or whether they 
shall be accomplished together. 

(1.) Heresies, and infidelity, and superstition, among 
those who have been brought up under the light of the 
gospel, will then be abolished. Then there will be an 
end to Socinianism, and Arianism, and Quakerism, and 
Arminianism ; and Deism, which is now so bold and 
confident in infidelity, shall then be crushed, and driven 
away, and vanish to nothing; and all shall agree in the 
same great and important doctrines of the gospel ; agree 
able to that in Zech. xiv. 9. "And the Lord shall be king 
over all the earth : in that day shall there be one Lord, 
and his name one." Then shall be abolished all super 
stitious ways of worship, and all shall agree in worship 
ping God in his own ways: Jer. xxxii. 39. "And I will 
give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear 
me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children 
after them." 

(2.) The kingdom of Antichrist shall be utterly over 
thrown. His kingdom and dominion has been much 
brought down already by the vial poured out on his 
throne in the Reformation ; but then it shall be utterly 
destroyed. Then shall be proclaimed, " Babylon is fall 
en, is fallen." When the seventh angel sounds, "the 
time, times and half, shall be out, and time shall be 
no longer." Then shall be accomplished concerning 
Antichrist the things which are written in the 18th 
chapter of Revelation, of the spiritual Babylon, that 
great city Rome, or the idolatrous Roman government, 
that has for so many ages been the great enemy of the 
Christian church, First under heathenism, then under 
Popery : that proud city which lifted herself up to hea 
ven, and above God himself in her pride and haughti- 



312 A HISTORY OF THE 

ness; that cruel, bloody city, shall come down to the 
ground. Then shall that be fulfilled, Isa. xxvi. 5. "For 
he bringeth down them that dwell on high, the lofty city 
he layeth it low, he layeth it low, even to the ground, he 
bringeth it even to the dust." " She shall be thrown 
down with violence, like a great mill stone cast into the 
sea, and shall be found no more at all, and shall become 
an habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, 
and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." Now 
shall she be stripped of all her glory, and riches, and or 
naments, and shall be cast out as an abominable branch, 
and shall be trodden down as the mire of the streets. 
All her policy and craft, in which she so abounded, shall 
not save her. And God shall make his people, who have 
been so persecuted by her, to come and put their foot on 
the neck of Antichrist, and he shall be their footstool. 
All the strength and wisdom of this great whore shall 
fail her, and there shall be none to help her. The kings 
of the earth, who before gave their power and strength 
to the beast, shall now hate the whore, and shall make 
her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn 
her with fire, Rev. xvii. 16. 

(3.) That other great kingdom which Satan has set 
up in opposition to the Christian church, viz. his Maho 
metan kingdom, shall be utterly overthrown. The 
locusts and horsemen, in the 9th of Revelation, have 
their appointed and limited time set them there, and the 
false prophet shall be taken and destroyed. And then, 
though Mahometanism, has been so vastly propagated 
in the world, and is upheld by such a great empire, this 
smoke, which has ascended out of the bottomless pit, 
shall be utterly scattered before the light of that glorious 
day, and the Mahometan empire shall fall at the sound 
of the great trumpet which shall then be blown. 

(4.) Jewish infidelity shall then be overthrown. How 
ever obstinate they have been now for above 1700 years 
in their rejection of Christ, and instances of the conver 
sion of any of that nation have been so very rare ever 
since the destruction of Jerusalem, but they have, 
against the plain teachings of their own prophets, con 
tinued to approve of the cruelty of their forefathers in 
crucifying Christ; yet when this day comes, the thick 
veil that blinds their eyes shall be removed, 2 Cor. iii. 16; 
and divine grace shall melt and renew their hard hearts, 
"and they shall look on him whom they have pierced, 
and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 313 

only son, and shall be in bitterness, as one that is in bit 
terness for his first born," Zecb. xii. 10. &c. And then 
shall the house of Israel be saved: the Jews in all their 
dispersions shall cast away their old infidelity, and shall 
wonderfully have their hearts changed, and abhor them 
selves for their past unbelief and obstinacy ; and shall 
flow together to the blessed Jesus, penitently, humbly, 
and joyfully owning him as their glorious King and only 
Saviour, and shall with all their hearts, as with one heart 
and voice, declare his praises unto other nations. 

Nothing is more certainly foretold than this national 
conversion of the Jews is in the llth chapter of Romans. 
And there are also many passages of the Old Testament 
which cannot be interpreted in any other sense, which I 
cannot now stand to mention. Besides the prophecies 
of the calling of the Jews, we have a remarkable seal of 
the fulfilment of this great event in providence, by a thing 
which is a kind of continual miracle, viz. their being pre 
served a distinct nation in such a dispersed condition for 
above 1600 years. The world affords nothing else like 
it. There is undoubtedly a remarkable hand of provi 
dence in it. When they shall be called, then shall that 
ancient people, that were alone God s people for so long 
a time, be God s people again, never to be rejected more : 
they shall then be gathered into one fold together with 
the Gentiles; and so also shall the remains of the ten 
tribes, wherever they be, and though they have been 
rejected much longer than the Jews, "be brought in with 
their brethren the Jews. The prophecies of Hosea espe 
cially seem to hold this forth, that in the future glorious 
times of the church, both Judah and Ephraim, or Judah 
and the ten tribes, shall be brought in together, and shall 
be united as one people, as they formerly were under 
David and Solomon; as Hos. i. 11. and so in the last 
chapter of Hosea, and other parts of his prophecy. 

Though we do not know the time in which this con 
version of the nation of Israel will come to pass ; yet thus 
much we may determine by scripture, that it will be be 
fore the glory of the Gentile part of the church shall be 
fully accomplished ; because it is said, that their coming 
in shall be life from the dead to the Gentiles, Rom. xi. 
12. 15. 

(5.) Then shall also Satan s heathenish kingdom be 
overthrown. Gross heathenism now possesses a great 
part of the earth, and there are supposed to be more hea 
thens now in the world, than of all other professions 
27 



314 A HISTORY OP THE 

taken together, Jews, Mahometans, or Christians. But 
then the heathen nations shall be enlightened with the 
glorious gospel. There will be a wonderful spirit of 
pity towards them, and zeal for their instruction and 
conversion put into multitudes, and many shall go forth 
and carry the gospel unto them ; and then shall the joy 
ful sound be heard among them, and the Sun of Right 
eousness shall then arise with his glorious light shining 
on those many vast regions of the earth that have been 
covered with heathenish darkness for many thousand 
years, many of them doubtless ever since the times of 
Moses and Abraham, and have Iain thus long in a miser 
able condition, under the cruel tyranny of the devil, who 
has all this while blinded and befooled them, and dom 
ineered over them, and made a prey of them from gene 
ration to generation. Now the glad tidings of the gos 
pel shall sound there, and they shall be brought out of 
darkness into marvellous light. 

It is promised, that heathenism shall thus be destroyed 
in many places. God has said, that the gods that have 
not made these heavens and this earth, shall perish from 
the earth, and from under these heavens, Jer. x. 11. and 
that he will utterly abolish idols, Isa. ii. 18. Then shall 
the many nations of Africa, the nations of negroes, and 
other heathens who chiefly fill that quarter of the world, 
who now seem to be in a state but little above the beasts, 
and in many respects much below them, be enlightened 
with glorious light, and delivered from all their darkness, 
and shall become a civil, Christian, understanding, and 
holy people. Then shall the vast continent of America, 
which now in so great a part of it is covered with bar 
barous ignorance and cruelty, be every where covered 
with glorious gospel light and Christian love; and in 
stead of worshipping the devil, as now they do, they 
shall serve God, and praises shall be sung every where 
to the Lord Jesus Christ, the blessed Saviour of the 
world. So may we expect it will be in that great and 
populous part of the world, the East Indies, which are 
now mostly inhabited by the worshippers of the devil ; 
and so throughout that vast country Great Tartary : and 
then the kingdom of Christ will be established in those 
continents which have been more lately discovered to 
wards the north and south poles, where now men differ 
very little from the wild beasts, excepting that they wor 
ship the devil, and beasts do not. The same will be the 
case with respect to those countries which have never 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 315 

yet been discovered. Thus will be gloriously fulfilled 
that in Isa. xxxv. I. "The wilderness and the solitary 
place shall be glad for them : and the desert shall rejoice, 
and blossom as the rose." See also verses 6, 7. 

2. Having thus shown wherein this overthrow of Sa 
tan s kingdom will consist, I come now to the other thing 
to be observed concerning it, viz. its universal extent. 
The visible kingdom of Satan shall be overthrown, and 
the kingdom of Christ set up on the ruins of it, every 
where throughout the whole habitable globe. New shall 
the promise made to Abraham be fulfilled, that " in him 
and in his seed all the families of the earth shall Be bless 
ed ;" and Christ now shall become the desire of all na 
tions, agreeable to Haggai ii. 7. Now the kingdom of 
Christ shall in the most strict and literal sense be ex 
tended to all nations, and the whole earth. There are 
many passages of scripture that can be understood in no 
other sense. What can be more universal than that in 
Isa. xi. 9. "For the earth shall be full of the knowledge 
of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." As much as 
to say, as there is no part of the channel or cavity of the 
sea any where, but what is covered with water ; so there 
shall be no part of the world of mankind but what shall 
be covered with the knowledge of God. So it is foretold 
in Isa. xlv. 22. that all the ends of the earth shall look to 
Christ, and be saved. And to show that the words are 
to be understood in the most universal sense, it is said 
in the next verse, " I have sworn by myself, the word is 
gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not 
return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue 
shall swear." 

So the most universal expression is used, Dan. vii. 27. 
" And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of 
the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to 
the people of the saints of the Most High God." You see 
the expression includes all under the whole heaven. 

When the devil was cast out of the Roman empire, be 
cause that was the highest and principal part of the world, 
and the other nations that were left were low and mean 
in comparison of those of that empire, it was represented 
as Satan s being cast out of heaven to the earth, Rev. 
xii. 9. but it is represented that he shall be cast out of 
the earth too, and shut up in hell, Rev. xx. 1, 2, 3. This 
is the greatest revolution by far that ever came to pass: 
therefore it is said in Rev. xvi. 17, 18, that on the pour 
ing out of the seventh vial, there was a great earthquake, 



316 



A HISTORY OF THE 



such as was not since men were upon earth, so mighty 
an earthquake and so great. And this is the third great 
dispensation of providence which is in scripture com 
pared to Christ s coming to judgment. So it is in Rev. 
xvi. 15. There, after the sixth vial, and after the devil s 
armies were gathered together to their great battle, and 
just before Christ s glorious victory over them, it is said, 
" Behold I come quickly ; blessed is he that watcheth, 
and keepeth his garments." So it is called Christ s com 
ing in 2 Thess. ii. 8. Speaking of Antichrist, it is said, 
* and then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord 
shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall de 
stroy with the brightness of his coming." See also Dan. 
vii. 13, 14, where Christ s coming to set up his kingdom 
on earth, and to destroy Antichrist, is called coming with 
clouds of heaven. And this is more like Christ s last 
coming to judgment, than any of the preceding dispen 
sations which are so called, on these accounts : 

(1.) That the dispensation is so much greater and 
more universal, and so more like the day of judgment, 
which respects the whole world. 

(2.) On account of the great spiritual resurrection 
there will be of the church of God accompanying it, more 
resembling the general resurrection at the end of the 
world than any other. This spiritual resurrection is 
the resurrection spoken of as attended with judgment, 
Rev. xx. 4. 

(3.) Because of the terrible judgments and fearful de 
struction which shall now be executed on God s ene 
mies. There will doubtless at the introducing of this 
dispensation be a visible and awful hand of God against 
blasphemers, deists, and obstinate heretics, and other 
enemies of Christ, terribly destroying them, with remark 
able tokens of wrath and vengeance ; and especially will 
this dispensation be attended with terrible judgments on 
Antichrist ; and the cruel persecutors who belong to the 
church of Rome, shall in a most awful manner be de 
stroyed ; which is compared to a casting of Antichrist 
into the burning flame, Dan. vii. 11. and to casting him 
alive into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, 
Rev. xix. 20. 

Then shall this cruel persecuting church suffer those 
judgments from God, which shall be far more dreadful 
than her crudest persecutions of the saints, agreeable to 
Rev. xviii. 6, 7. The judgments which God shall execute 
on the enemies of the church, are so great, that they are 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 317 

compared to God s sending great hailstones from hea 
ven upon them, every one of the weight of a talent, as it 
is said on the pouring out of the seventh vial, Rev. xvi. 
21. "And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, 
every stone about the weight of a talent : and men blas 
phemed God, because of the plague of the hail; for the 
plague thereof was exceeding great." And now shall 
be that treading of the wine press spoken of, Rev. xiv. 
19, 20. 

(4.) This shall put an end to the church s suffering 
state, and shall be attended with their glorious and joy 
ful praises. The church s afflicted state is long, being 
continued, excepting some short intermissions, from the 
resurrection of Christ to this time. But now shall a final 
end be put to her suffering state. Indeed after this, near 
the end of the world, the church shall be greatly threat 
ened ; but it is said, it shall be but for a little season, 
Rev. xx. 3, for as the times of the church s rest are but 
short, before the long day of her afflictions are at an 
end ; so whatever affliction she may suffer after this, it 
will be very short ; but otherwise the day of the church s 
affliction and persecution shall now come to a final end. 
The scriptures, in many places, speak of this time as the 
end of the suffering state of the church. So Isa. li. 22. 
God says to his church with respect to this time, " be 
hold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, 
even the dregs of the cup of my fury, thou shalt no more 
drink it again." Then shall that be proclaimed to the 
church, Isa. xl. 1, 2, "Comfort ye, comfort ye my peo 
ple, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jeru 
salem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplish 
ed, that her iniquity is pardoned : for she hath received 
of the Lord s hand double for all her sins." Also that in 
Isa. liv. 8, 9. belongs to this time. And so that in Isa. 
Ix. 20, " The Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and 
the days of thy mourning shall be ended." And so 
Zeph. iii. 15, " The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, 
he hath cast out thine enemy: the King of Israel, even 
the Lord, is in the midst of thee : thou shalt not see evil 
any more." 

The time which had been before this, had been the 
church s sowing time, wherein she sowed in tears and 
in blood ; but now is her harvest, wherein she will come 
again rejoicing, bringing her sheaves with her. Now 
the time of the travail of the woman clothed with the 
sun is at an end : now she hath brought forth her son , 
27* 



318 A HISTORY OF THE 

for this glorious setting up of the kingdom of Christ 
through the world, is what the church had been in tra 
vail for, with such terrible pangs, for so many ages : Isa. 
xxvi. 17. "Like as a woman with child that draweth 
near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth 
out in her pangs ; so have we been in thy sight, O Lord." 
See Isa. Ix. 20. and Ixi. 10, 11. And now the church 
shall forget her sorrow, since a man child is born into 
the world : now succeed her joyful praise and triumph. 
Her praises shall then go up to God from all parts of the 
earth ; as Isa. xlii. 10, 11, 12. And praise shall not only 
fill the earth, but also heaven. The church on earth, 
and the church in heaven, shall both gloriously rejoice 
and praise God, as with one heart, on that occasion. 
Without doubt it will be a time of very distinguished 
joy and praise among the holy prophets and apostles, 
and the other saints in heaven : Rev. xviii. 20. " Rejoice 
over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and pro 
phets, for God hath avenged you on her." See how 
universal these praises will be in Isa. xliv. 23, " Sing, O 
ye heavens, for the Lord hath done it : shout, ye lower 
parts of the earth : break forth into singing, ye moun 
tains, O forest, and every tree therein : for the Lord hath 
redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel." See 
what joyful praises are sung to God on this occasion by 
the universal church in heaven and earth, in the begin 
ning of the 19th chapter of Revelation. 

(5.) This dispensation is above all preceding ones like 
Christ s coming to judgment, in that it so puts an end to 
the former state of the world, and introduces the ever 
lasting kingdom of Christ. Now Satan s visible king 
dom shall be overthrown, after it had stood ever since 
the building of Babel; and the old heavens and the old 
earth shall in a greater measure be passed away then 
than before, and the new heavens and new earth set up 
in a far more glorious manner than ever before. 

Thus I have shown how the success of Christ s pur 
chase has been carried on through the times of the af 
flicted state of the Christian church, from Christ s resur 
rection, until Antichrist is fallen, and Satan s visible 
kingdom on earth is overthrown. Therefore I come 
now, 

Secondly, To show how the success of redemption 
will be carried on through that space wherein the Chris 
tian church shall for the most part be in a state of peace 
and prosperity. And in order to this, I would, 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 319 

1 Speak of the prosperous state of the church through 
the greater part of this period. 

2. Of the great apostasy there shall be towards the 
close of it: how greatly then the church shall be threat 
ened by her enemies for a short time. 

I. I would speak of the prosperous state of the church 
through the greater part of this period. And in doing 
this, I would, 1. Describe this prosperous state of the 
church; 2. Say something of its duration. 

1st. I would describe the prosperous state the church 
shall be in. 

And, in the general, I would observe two things. 

1. That this is most properly the time of the kingdom 
of heaven upon earth. Though the kingdom of heaven 
was in a degree set up soon after Christ s resurrection, 
and in a further degree in the time of Constantine ; and 
though the Christian church in all ages of it is called the 
kingdom of heaven ; yet this time that we are upon, is 
the principal time of the kingdom of heaven upon earth, 
the time principally intended by the prophecies of Daniel, 
which speak of the kingdom of heaven, whence the Jews 
took the name of the kingdom of heaven. 

2. Now is the principal fulfilment of all the prophecies 
of the Old Testament which speak of the glorious times 
of the gospel which shall be in the latter days. Though 
there has been a glorious fulfilment of those prophecies 
already, in the times of the apostles, and of Constantine; 
yet the expressions are too high to suit any other time 
entirely, but that which is to succeed the fall of Anti 
christ. This is most properly the glorious day of the 
gospel. Other times are only forerunners and prepara 
tories to this : other times were the seed time, but this is 
the harvest. But more particularly, 

(1.) It will be a time of great light and knowledge. 
The present days are days of darkness, in comparison 
of those days. The light of that glorious time shall be 
so great, that it is represented as though there should 
then be no night, but only day ; no evening nor dark 
ness. So Zecti. xiv. 6, 7. " And it shall come to pass in 
that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark. But 
it shall be one day^ which shall be known to the Lord, 
not day, nor night : but it shall come to pass, that at 
evening time it shall be light." It is further represented, 
as though God would then give such light to his church, 
that it should so much exceed the glory of the light of 
the sun and moon, that they should be ashamed : Isa. 



320 A HISTORY OP THE 

xxiv. 23. " Then the moon shall be confounded, and the 
sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in 
Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients, 
gloriously." 

There is a kind of veil now cast over the greater part 
of the world, which keeps them in darkness : but then 
this veil shall be destroyed : Isa. xxv. 7. " And he will 
destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast 
over all people, and the veil that is spread over all na 
tions." And then all countries and nations, even those 
which are now most ignorant, shall be full of light and 
knowledge. Great knowledge shall prevail every where. 
It may be hoped, that then many of the Negroes and 
Indians will be divines, and that excellent books will 
be published in Africa, in Ethiopia, in Tartary, and 
other now the most barbarous countries ; and not only 
learned men, but others of more ordinary education, 
shall then be very knowing in religion : Isa. xxxii. 3, 4. 
"The eyes of them that see, shall not be dim ; and the 
ears of them that hear, shall hearken. The heart also 
of the rash shall understand knowledge." Knowledge 
then shall be very universal among all sorts of persons ; 
agreeable to Jer. xxxi. 34. " And they shall teach no 
more every man his neighbour, and every man his bro 
ther, saying, Know the Lord : for they shall all know 
me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them." 

There shall then be a wonderful unravelling of the dif 
ficulties in the doctrines of religion, and clearing up of 
seeming inconsistencies: so "crooked things shall be 
made straight, and rough places shall be made plain," 
and darkness shall become light before God s people. 
Difficulties in scripture shall then be cleared up, and 
wonderful things shall be discovered in the word of God, 
which were never discovered before. The great dis 
covery of those things in religion which had been before 
kept hid, seems to be compared to removing the veil, and 
discovering the ark of the testimony to the people, which 
before used to be kept in the secret part of the temple, 
and was never seen by them. Thus, at the sounding of 
the seventh angel when it is proclaimed, " that the king 
doms of this world are become the kingdoms of our 
Lord and of his Christ ;" it is added that " the temple 
of God was opened in heaven; and there was seen 
in his temple the ark of his testament." So great 
shall be the increase of knowledge in this time, that hea- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 32l 

ven shall be as it were opened to the church of God on 
earth. 

(2.) It shall be a time of great holiness. Now vital 
religion shall every where prevail and reign. Religion 
shall not be an empty profession, as it now mostly is, but 
holiness of heart and life shall abundantly prevail. Those 
times shall be an exception from what Christ says of the 
ordinary state of the church, viz. that there shall be but 
few saved ; for now holiness shall become general : Is. 
lx. 21. " Thy people also shall be all righteous." Not 
that there will be none remaining in a Christless condi 
tion; but that visible wickedness shall be suppressed 
every where, and true holiness shall become general, 
though not universal. And it shall be a wonderful time, 
not only for the multitude of godly men, but for eminen- 
cy of grace : Isa. Ixv. 20. " There shall be no more thence 
an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his 
days: for the child shall die an hundred years old, but 
the sinner being an hundred years old, shall be accurs 
ed." And Zech. xii. 8. " He that is feeble among them 
at that day shall be as David ; and the house of David 
shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. 1 
And holiness shall then be^as it were inscribed on every 
thing, on all men s common business and employments, 
and the common utensils of life : all shall be as it were 
dedicated to God, and applied to holy purposes : every 
thing shall then be done to the glory of God : Isa. xxiii. 
18. " And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness 
to the Lord." And so Zech. xiv. 20, 21. And as God s 
people then shall be eminent in holiness of heart, so they 
shall be also in holiness of life and practice. 

(3.) It shall be a time wherein religion shall in every 
respect be uppermost in the world. It shall be had in 
great esteem and honour. The saints have hitherto for 
the most part been kept under, and wicked men have 
governed. But now they will be uppermost. The king 
doms shall be given into the hands of the saints of the 
"Most High God," Dan. vii. 27. "And they shall reign 
on earth," Rev. v. 10. "They shall live and reign with 
Christ a thousand years," Rev. xx. 4. In that day, such 
persons as are eminent for true piety and religion, shall 
be chiefly promoted to places of trust and authority. 
Vital religion shall then take possession of kings palaces 
and thrones; and those who are in highest advance 
ment shall be holy men: Isa. xlix. 23. "And kings shall 
be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing 



322 A HISTORY OF THE 

mothers." Kings shall employ all their power, and glory, 
and riches, for the advancement of the honour and glory 
of Christ, and the good of his church : Isa. Ix. 16. " Thou 
shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck 
the breasts of kings." And the great men of the world, 
and the rich merchants, and others who have great 
wealth and influence, shall devote all to Christ and his 
church; Psa. xlv. 12. "The daughter of Tyre shall be 
there with a gift, even the rich among the people shall 
entreat thy favour." 

(4.) Those will be times of great peace and love. 
There shall then be universal peace and a good under 
standing among the nations of the world, instead of such 
confusion, wars, and bloodshed, as have hitherto been 
from one age to another: Isa. ii. 4. " And he shall judge 
among the nations, and shall rebuke many people : and 
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their 
spears into pruning hooks : nation shall not lift up sword 
against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." 
So it is represented as if all instruments of war should 
be destroyed, as being become useless : Psa. xl vi. 9. " He 
maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth : he 
breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder: he 
burneth the chariot in the fire." See also Zech. ix. 10. 
Then shall all nations dwell quietly and safely, without 
fear of any enemy. Isa. xxxii. 18. " And my people shall 
dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, 
and in quiet resting places." Also Zech. viii. 10, 11. 

And then shall malice, and envy, and wrath, and re 
venge, be suppressed every where, and peace and love 
shall prevail between one man and another; which is 
most elegantly set forth in Isa. xi. 6 10. Then shall 
*there be peace and love between rulers and ruled. Ru 
lers shall love their people, and with all their might seek 
their best good ; and the people love their rulers, and 
shall joyfully submit to them, and give them that honour 
which is their due. And so shall there be an happy love 
between ministers and their people: Mai. iv. 6. "And 
he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and 
the heart of the children to their fathers." Then shall 
flourish in an eminent manner those Christian virtues 
of meekness, forgiveness, long-suffering, gentleness, 
goodness, brotherly kindness, those excellent fruits of 
the Spirit. Men, in their temper and disposition, shall 
then be like the Lamb of God, the lovely Jesus. The 
body shall be conformed to the head. 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 323 

Then shall all the world be united in one amiable so 
ciety. All nations, in all parts of the world, on every 
side of the globe, shall then be knit together in sweet 
harmony. All parts of God s church shall assist and pro 
mote the spiritual good of one another. A communica 
tion shall then be upheld between all parts of the world 
to that end; and the art of navigation, which is now 
applied so much to favour men s covetousness arid pride, 
and is used so much by wicked debauched men, shall 
then be consecrated to God, and applied to holy uses, as 
we read in Isa. Ix. 5 9. And it will then be a time 
wherein men will be abundant in expressing their love 
one to another, not only in words, but in deeds of charity, 
as we learn, Isa. xxxii. 5. " The vile person shall be no 
more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful ;" 
and, verse 8. " But the liberal deviseth liberal things, and 
by liberal things shall he stand." 

(5.) It will be a time of excellent order in the church 
of Christ. The true government and discipline of the 
church will then be settled and put into practice. All 
the world shall then be as one church, one orderly, regu 
lar, beautiful society. And as the body shall be one, so 
the members shall be in beautiful proportion to each 
other. Then shall that be verified in Psa. cxxii. 3. "Je 
rusalem is builded as a city, that is compact together." 

(6.) The church of God shall then be beautiful and 
glorious on these accounts ; yea it will appear in perfec 
tion of beauty : Isa. Ix. 1. "Arise, shine, for thy light is 
come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Isa. 
Ixi. 10. " He hath covered me with the robe of righteous 
ness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, 
and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." On 
these forementioned accounts, the church will then be 
the greatest image of heaven itself. 

(7.) That will be a time of the greatest temporal pros 
perity. Such a spiritual state as we have just described, 
has a natural tendency to temporal prosperity : it has a 
tendency to health and long life ; and that this will ac 
tually be the case, is evident by Zech. viii. 4. "Thus 
saith the Lord of hosts, There shall yet old men and old 
women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man 
with his staff in his hand for very age." It has also a 
natural tendency to procure ease, quietness, pleasant 
ness, and cheerfulness of mind, and also wealth, and 
great increase of children; as is intimated in Zech. viii. 
5. " And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and 



324 



A HISTORY OF THE 



girls playing in the streets thereof." But further, the 
temporal prosperity of the people of God will also be pro 
moted by a remarkable blessing from heaven: Isa. Ixv. 
21. "They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and 
they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them." 
And in Mic. iv. 4. " But they shall sit every man under 
his vine, and under his fig tree, and none shall make 
them afraid." Zech. viii. 12. "For the seed shall be pros 
perous, the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall 
give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew, 
and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all 
these things." See also Jer. xxxi. 12, 13. and Amos ix. 
13. Yea then they shall receive all manner of tokens of 
God s presence, and acceptance, and favour: Jer. xxxiii. 

9. "And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an 
honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall 
hear all the good that I do unto them : and they shall 
fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the pros 
perity that I procure unto it." Even the days of Solo 
mon were but an image of those days, as to the tempo 
ral prosperity which shall obtain in them. 

(8.) It will also be a time of great rejoicing: Isa. xxxv. 

10. "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and 
come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their 
heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow 
and sighing shall flee away." Chap. Iv. 12. "For ye shall 
go out with joy, and be led forth with peace : the moun 
tains and the hills shall break forth before you." Chap. 
Ixvi. J 1. "That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the 
breasts of her consolations: that ye may milk out, and 
be delighted with the abundance of her glory." Chap, 
xii. 3. " With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells 
of salvation." Then will be a time of feasting. That 
will be the church s glorious wedding day, so far as her 
wedding with Christ shall ever be upon earth : Rev. xix. 
7. " Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him ; 
for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath 
made herself ready." Verse 9. " Blessed are they which 
are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb." But I 
come now, 

2dly. To say something of the duration of this state of 
the church s prosperity. On this I shall be very brief. 
The scriptures every where represent it to be of long 
continuance. The former intervals of rest and pros 
perity, as we before observed, are represented to be but 
short ; but the representations of this state are quite dif- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 325 

ferent : Rev. xx. 4. " And I saw the souls of them that 
were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and they lived 
and reigned with Christ a thousand years." Isa. Ix. 15. 
44 Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no 
man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal ex 
cellency, a joy of many generations." 

This may suffice as to the prosperous state of the 
church through the greater part of the period from the 
destruction of Satan s visible kingdom in the world to 
Christ s appearing in the clouds of heaven to judgment. 

II. I now come to speak of the great apostasy there 
should be towards the close of this period, and how 
eminently the church should be for a short time threat 
ened by her enemies. And this I shall do under three 
particulars. 

1. A little before the end of the world, there shall be a 
very great apostasy, wherein great part of the world 
shall fall away from Christ and his church. It is said in 
Rev. xx. 3. that Satan should be cast into the bottomless 
pit, and shut up, and have a seal set upon him, that he 
should deceive the nations no more until the thousand 
years should- be fulfilled; and that after that he must 
be loosed out of his prison for a little season. And ac 
cordingly we are told, in the 7th and 8th verses, that 
when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be 
loosed out of his prison, and should go forth to deceive 
the nations, which are in the four quarters of the earth, 
Gog and Magog. Which seems to show as though the 
apostasy would be very general. The nations of the 
four quarters of the earth shall be deceived ; and the 
number of those who shall now turn enemies to Christ 
shall be vastly great, as the army of Gog and Magog is 
represented in Ezekiel, and as it is said in Rev. xx. 8. 
that the number of them is as the sand of the sea, and 
that they went up on the breadth of the earth, as though 
they were an army big enough to reach from one side 
of the earth to the other. 

Thus after such an happy and glorious season, such a 
long day of light and holiness, of love, and peace, and 
joy, now it shall begin again to be a dark time. Satan 
shall begin to set up his dominion again in the world. 
This world shall again become a scene of darkness and 
wickedness. The bottomless pit of hell shall be opened, 
and devils shall come up again out of it, and a dreadful 
smoke shall ascend to darken the world. And the church 
of Christ, instead of extending to the utmost bounds of 
28 



326 A HISTORY OF THE 

the world, as it did before, shall be reduced to narrow 
limits again. The world of mankind being continued so 
long in a state of such great prosperity, shall now begin 
to abuse their prosperity, to serve their lust and corrup 
tion. This we learn from Luke xvii. 26. &c. 

2. Those apostates shall make great opposition to the 
church of God. The church shall seem to be eminently 
threatened with a sudden and entire overthrow by them. 
It is said, Satan shall gather them together to battle, as 
the sand on the sea "shore ; and they went up on the 
breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the 
saints about, and the beloved city. So that this beloved 
city shall seem just ready to be swallowed up by them : 
for her enemies shall not only threaten her, but shall ac 
tually have gathered together against her ; and not only 
so, but shall have besieged her, shall have compassed 
her about on every side. 

There is nothing in the prophecy which seems to hold 
forth as though the church had actually fallen into their 
hands, as the church had fallen into the hands of Anti 
christ, to whom it was given to make war with the saints, 
and to overcome them. God will never suffer this to be 
again after the fall of Antichrist ; for then the day of her 
mourning shall be ended. But the church shall seem 
most eminently threatened with utter and sudden de 
struction. 

3. Now the state of things will seem most remarkably 
to call for Christ s immediate appearance to judgment. 
For then the world shall be filled with the most aggra 
vated wickedness that ever it was. For much "the 
greater part of the world shall have become visibly 
wicked and open enemies to Christ, and their wicked 
ness shall be dreadfully aggravated by their apostasy. 
Before the fall of Antichrist, most of the world was full 
of visibly wicked men. But the greater part of these are 
poor heathens, who never enjoyed the light of the gos 
pel ; and others are those that have been bred up in the 
Mahometan or Popish darkness. But these are those 
that have apostatized from the Christian church, and the 
visible kingdom of Christ, in which they enjoyed the 
great light and privileges of the glorious times of the 
church, which shall be incomparably greater than the 
light and privileges which the church of God enjoys now. 
This apostasy will be most like the apostasy of the devils 
of any that ever had before been: for the devils aposta 
tized, and turned enemies to Christ, though they enjoyed 



WORK OF REDEMPTION 327 

the light of heaven ; and these will apostatize, anil turn 
enemies to him, though they have enjoyed the light and 
privileges of" the glorious times of the church. That such 
should turn open and avowed enemies to Christ, and 
should seek the ruin of his church, will cry aloud for 
such immediate vengeance as was executed on the devils 
when they fell. 

The wickedness of the world will remarkably call for 
Christ s immediate appearing in flaming fire to take ven 
geance on them, because of the way in which they shall 
manifest their wickedness, which will be by scoffing and 
blaspheming Christ and his holy religion ; and particu 
larly, they will scoff at the notion of Christ s coming to 
judgment, of which the church shall be in expectation, 
and of which they will warn them. For now doubtless 
will be another fulfilment, and the greatest fulfilment, of 
2 Pet. iii. 3, 4. "Knowing this first, that there shall come 
in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 
and saying, Where is the promise of his coming] For 
since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they 
were from the beginning of the creation." They shall 
be in no expectation of the coming of Christ to judgment, 
and shall laugh at the notion. They shall trample all 
such things under foot, and shall give up themselves to 
their lusts, or to eat and drink, and wallow in sensual 
delights, as though they were to be here for ever. They 
shall despise the warnings the church shall give them of 
the coming of Christ to judgment, as the people of the 
old world despised what Noah told them of the approach 
ing flood, and as the people of Sodom did when Lot said 
to them, " the Lord will destroy this city." Their wick 
edness on this account will cry aloud to heaven for 
Christ s appearing in flaming fire to take vengeance of 
his enemies; and also because another way that they 
shall exercise their wickedness will be in the wicked de 
sign and violent attempt they shall be engaged in against 
the holy city of God, against that holy city, wherein late 
ly, and for so long a time, so much of the religion of 
Christ had been seen. They shall then be about to per 
petrate the most horrid design against this church. 

And the numerousness of the wicked that shall then 
be, is another thing which shall especially call for Christ s 
coming: for the world will doubtless then be exceeding 
full of people, having continued so long in so great a 
state of prosperity, without such terrible desolating ex 
tremities, as wars, pestilences, and the like, to diminish 



328 A HISTORY OF THE 



them. And the most of this world, which shall be so 
populous, will be such wicked contemptuous apostates 
from God. Undoubtedly that will be a day wherein the 
world will be by far fuller of wickedness than ever be 
fore it was from the foundation of it. And if the wicked 
ness of the old world, when men began to multiply on 
the earth, called for the destruction of the world by a 
deluge of waters, this wickedness will as much call for 
its destruction by a deluge of fire. 

Again, the circumstances of the church at that day 
will also eminently call for the immediate appearing of 
Christ, as they will be compassed about by their blas 
phemous murderous enemies, just ready to be swallow 
ed up by them. And it will be a most distressing time 
with the church, excepting the comfort they will have in 
the hope of deliverance from God : for all other help will 
seem to fail. The case will be come to the last extrem 
ity, and there will be an immediate need that Christ 
should come to their deliverance. And though the 
church shall be so eminently threatened, yet so will 
Providence order it, that it shall be preserved until 
Christ shall appear in his immediate presence, coming 
in the glory of his Father with all his holy angels. And 
then will come the time when all the elect shall be gath 
ered in. That work of conversion which has been car 
ried on from the beginning of the church after the fall 
through all those ages, shall be carried on no more. 
There never shall another soul be converted. Every 
one of those many millions, whose names were written 
in the book of life before the foundation of the world, 
shall be brought in ; not one soul shall be lost. And the 
mystical body of Christ, which has been growing since 
it first began in the days of Adam, will be complete as 
to number of parts, having every one of its members. 
In this respect, the work of redemption will now be fin 
ished. And now the end for which the means of grace 
have been instituted shall be obtained. All that effect 
which was intended to be accomplished by them shall 
now be accomplished. 



SECTION II. 

THUS I have shown how the success of Christ s redemp 
tion has been accomplished during the continuance of 
the Christian church under the means of grace. We 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 329 

have seen what great revolutions there have been, and 
are to be, during this space of time; how the great 
wheels of providence have gone round for the accom 
plishment of that kind of success of Christ s purchase, 
which consists in the bestowment of grace on the elect : 
and we are, in the prosecution of the subject, come to 
the time when all the wheels have gone round ; the 
course of things in this state of it is finished, and all 
things are ripe for Christ s coming to judgment. 

You may remember, that when I began to discourse 
of this third proposition, viz. That from the resurrection 
of Christ to the end of the world, the whole time is taken 
up in procuring the success and effect of Christ s pur 
chase of redemption, I observed, that the success of 
Jhrist s purchase is of two kinds, consisting either in 
grace or glory ; and that the success consisting in the 
former of these, is to be seen in those works of God 
which are wrought during those ages that the church is 
continued under the means of grace; and that the suc 
cess, consisting in the latter, will chiefly be accomplished 
at the day of judgment. 

Having already shown how the former kind of suc 
cess has been accomplished, I come now, in the second 
place, to the latter, viz. that kind of success which is ac 
complished in the bestowment of glory on the church, 
which shall chiefly be bestowed on the church at the 
day of judgment. And here I would mention two or 
three things in the general concerning this kind of suc 
cess of Christ s purchase. 

1. How great the success of Christ s purchase is, 
chiefly appears in this. The success of Christ s pur 
chase does summarily consist in the salvation of the 
elect. But this bestowment of glory is eminently called 
their salvation : Heb. ix. 28. " To them that look for him, 
shall he appear the second time, without sin unto salva 
tion." So it is called redemption, being eminently that 
wherein the redemption of the church consists. So in 
Eph. iv. 30. " Sealed unto the day of redemption ;" and 
Luke xxi. 28. and Eph. i. 14. " Redemption of the pur 
chased possession." 

2. All that is before this, while the church is under the 
means 6T grace, is only to make way for the success 
which is to be accomplished in the bestowment of glory. 
The means of grace are to fit for glory ; and God s grace 
itself is bestowed on the elect to make them meet for 
glory. 

28* 



330 A HISTORY OP THE 

3. All those glorious things which were brought to 
pass for the church while under the means of grace, are 
but images and shadows of this. So were those glori 
ous things which were accomplished for the church in 
the days" of Constantine the Great; and so is all that 
glory which is to be accomplished in the glorious times 
of the church which are to succeed the falfof Antichrist. 
As great as it is, it is all but a shadow of what will be 
bestowed at the day of judgment: and therefore, as I 
have already often observed, all those preceding glorious 
events, by which God wrought glorious things for his 
church, are spoken of in scripture as images of Christ s 
last coming to judgment. 

But I hasten more particularly to show how this kind 
of success of Christ s purchase is accomplished. 

1. Christ will appear in the glory of his Father, with 
all his holy angels, coming in the clouds of heaven. 
When the world are thus revelling in their wickedness, 
and compassing the holy city about, just ready to de 
stroy it, and when the church is reduced to such a great 
strait, then shall the glorious Redeemer appear. He 
through whom this redemption has all along been car 
ried on, he shall appear in the sight of the world ; the 
light of his glory shall break forth ;"the whole world shall 
immediately have notice of it, and they shall lift up their 
eyes and behold this wonderful sight. It is said, "every 
eye shall see him," Rev. i. 7. Christ shall appear coming 
in his human nature, in that same body which was 
brought forth in a stable, and laid in a manger, and 
which afterwards was so cruelly used, and nailed to the 
cross. 

Men shall now lift up their eyes, and see him coming 
in such majesty and glory as now is to us utterly incon 
ceivable. The glory of the sun in a clear firmament, 
will be but darkness in comparison of it; and all the glo 
rious angels and archangels shall attend upon him, thou 
sand thousands ministering to him, and ten thousand 
times ten thousand round about him. How different a 
person will he then appear from what he did at his first 
coming, when he was as a root out of a dry ground, a poor, 
despised, afflicted man ! How different now is his appear 
ance, in the midst of those glorious angels, principalities, 
and powers, in heavenly places, attending him as his or 
dinary servants, from what it was when in the midst of 
a ring of soldiers, with his mock robe and his crown of 
thorns, to be buffeted and spit upon, or hanging on the 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 331 

cross between two thieves, with a multitude of his ene 
mies about him triumphing over him ! 

This sight will be a most unexpected sight to the wick 
ed world : it will come as a cry at midnight : they shall be 
taken in the midst of their wickedness, and it will give 
them a dreadful alarm. It will at once break up their 
revels, their eating, and drinking, and carousing. It will 
put a quick end to the design of the great army that will 
then be compassing the camp of the saints : it will make 
them let drop their weapons out of their hands. The 
world, which will then be very full of people, most of 
whom will be wicked men, will then be filled with dolo 
rous shrieking and crying; for all the kindreds of the 
earth shall wail because of him, Rev. i. 7. And, where 
shall they hide themselves] How will the sight of that 
awful majesty terrify them when taken in the midst of 
their wickedness ! Then they shall see who he is, what 
kind of a person he is, whom they have mocked and 
scoffed at, and whose church they have been endeavour 
ing to overthrow. This sight will change their voice. 
The voice of their laughter and singing, while they are 
marrying and giving in marriage, and the voice of theii 
scoffing, shall be changed into hideous, yea hellish yelling. 
Their countenances shall be changed from a show of car 
nal mirth, haughty pride, and contempt of God s people; it 
shall put on a shew of ghastly terror and amazement ; 
and trembling and chattering of teeth shall seize upon 
them. 

But with respect to the saints, the church of Christ, it 
shall be a joyful and most glorious sight to them : for this 
sight will at once deliver them from all fear of their ene 
mies, who were before compassing them about, just 
ready to swallow them up. Deliverance shall come in 
their extremity : the glorious Captain of their salvation 
shall appear for them, at a time when no other help ap 
pears. Then shall they lift up their heads, and their re 
demption shall be drawing nigh, Luke xxi. 28. And thus 
Christ will appear with infinite majesty, and yet at the 
same time they shall see infinite love in his countenance 
to them. And thus to see their Redeemer coming in the 
clouds of heaven, will fill their hearts full of gladness. 
Their countenances also shall be changed, but not as the 
countenances of the wicked, but shall be changed from 
being sorrowful, to be exceeding joyful and triumphant. 
And now the work of redemption will be finished in an 
other sense, viz. that the whole church shall be com- 



332 A HISTORY OF THE 

pletely and eternally freed from all persecution and mo 
lestation from wicked men and devils. 

2. The last trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be 
raised, and the living changed. God sent forth his an 
gels with a great sound of a trumpet, to gather together 
his elect from the four corners of the earth in a mystical 
sense, before the destruction of Jerusalem ; i. e. he sent 
forth the apostles, and others, to preach the gospel all 
over the world. And so in a mystical sense the great 
trumpet was blown at the beginning of the glorious 
times of the church. But now the great trumpet is 
blown in a more literal sense, with a mighty sound, 
which shakes the earth. There will be a great signal 
given by a mighty sound made, which is called the voice 
of the archangel, as being the angel of greatest strength, 
1 Thess. iv. 16. " For the Lord himself shall descend 
from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archan 
gel, and with the trump of God." On the sound of the 
great trumpet, the dead shall be raised every where. 
Now the number of the dead is very great. How many 
has death cut down for so long a time as since the world 
has stood ! But then the number will be much greater 
after the world shall have stood so much longer, and 
through most of the remaining time will doubtless be 
much fuller of inhabitants than ever it has been. All 
these shall now rise from the dead. The graves shall be 
opened every where in all parts of the world, and the 
sea shall give up the innumerable dead that are in it, 
Rev. xx. 13. 

And now all the inhabitants that ever shall have been 
upon the face of the earth, from the beginning of the 
world to that time, shall all appear upon earth at once ; 
all that ever have been of the church of God in all ages, 
Adam and Eve, the first parents of mankind, and Abel, 
and Seth, and Methuselah, and all the saints who were 
their contemporaries, and Noah, and Abraham, and Isaac, 
and Jacob, and the prophets of Israel, and the saints in 
the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, and all that were of 
the church in their times; and all the holy apostles of 
Jesus Christ, and all the saints of their times ; and all the 
holy martyrs under the ten heathen persecutions ; and 
all who belonged to the church in its wilderness state, 
during the dark times of Antichrist ; and all the holy 
martyrs who have suffered under the cruelty of the 
Popish persecutions ; and all the saints of the present 
time ; and all the saints who are here in this assembly 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 333 

among the rest ; and all that shall be from hence to the 
end of the world. Now also all the enemies of the 
church that have or shall be in all the ages of the world, 
shall appear upon the face of the earth again ; all the 
wicked killed in the flood, and the multitudes that died 
all over the world among God s professing people, or 
others ; all that died in all the heathen nations before 
Christ, and all wicked heathens, and Jews, and Mahome 
tans, and Papists that have died since ; all shall come to 
gether. Sinners of all sorts*, demure hypocrites, those 
who have the fairest and best outside, and open profane 
drunkards, whoremasters, heretics, deists, and all cruel 
persecutors, and all that have died or shall die in sin 
amongst us. 

And at the same time that the dead are raised, the liv 
ing shall be changed. The bodies of the wicked who 
shall then be living, shall be so changed as to fit them for 
eternal torment without corruption ; and the bodies of 
all the living saints shall be changed to be like Christ s 
glorious body, 1 Cor. xv. 51, 52, 53. The bodies of the 
saints shall be so changed as to render them forever in 
capable of pain, or affliction, or uneasiness ; and all that 
dullness and heaviness, and all that deformity, which 
their bodies had before, shall be put off; and they shall 
put on strength, and beauty, and activity, and incorrup 
tible unfading glory. And in such glory shall the bodies 
of all the risen saints appear. 

And now the work of redemption shall be finished in 
another respect, viz. that all the elect shall now be actu 
ally redeemed in both soul and body. Before this, the 
work of redemption, as to its actual success, was but in 
complete and imperfect ; for only the souls of the re 
deemed were actually saved and glorified, excepting in 
some few instances : but now all the bodies of the saints 
shall be saved and glorified together ; all the elect shall 
be glorified in the whole man, and the soul and body in 
union one with the other. 

3. Now shall the whole church of saints be caught up 
in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and all wicked 
men and devils shall be arraigned before the judgment 
seat. When the dead saints are raised, then the whole 
church, consisting of all the elect through all ages, will 
be standing together, on the face of the earth, at least all 
excepting those whose bodies were glorified before ; and 
then they shall all mount up as with wings in the air to 
meet Christ ; for it seems that Christ, when he comes to 



334 A HISTORY OF THE 

judgment, will not come quite down to the ground, but 
his throne will be fixed in the air, in the region of the 
clouds, whence he may be seen by all that vast multitude 
that shall be gathered before him. The church of saints 
therefore shall be taken up from the earth to ascend up 
to their Saviour. Thus the apostle tells us, that when 
the dead in Christ are raised, and the living changed, 
then those who are alive and remain, shall be caught up 
together with them to meet the Lord in the air, and so 
shall we be ever with the Lord, 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17. What 
a wonderful sight will that be, when all the many mil 
lions of saints are seen thus mounting up from all parts 
of the world ! 

Then shall the work of redemption be finished in an 
other respect. Then shall the whole church be perfectly 
and for ever delivered from this present evil world, for 
ever forsake this cursed ground : they shall take their 
everlasting leave of this earth, where they have been 
strangers, and which has been for the most part such a 
scene of their trouble and sorrow; where the devil for 
the most part has reigned as god, and has greatly mo 
lested them, and which has been such a scene of wicked 
ness and abomination, where Christ their Lord has been 
cruelly used ; and where they have been so hated, and 
reproached, and persecuted, from age to age, through 
most of the ages of the world. They shall leave it un 
der foot to go to Christ, and never shall set foot on it 
again. And there shall be an everlasting separation 
made between them and wicked men. Before they were 
mixed together, and it was impossible in many instances 
to determine which were which ; but now all shall be 
come visible ; both saints and sinners shall appear in 
their true characters. 

Then shall all the church be seen flocking together in 
the air to the place where Christ shall have fixed his 
throne, coming from the east and west, and north and 
south, to the right hand of Christ. What a mighty cloud 
of them will there be, when all that ever have been of 
the church of God, all that were before Christ, all that 
multitude of saints that were in the apostles time, and 
all that were in the days of Constantine the Great, and 
all that were before and since the Reformation, and also 
all that great multitude of saints that shall be in all the 
glorious times of the church, when the whole earth shall 
for so many generations be full of saints, and also all that 
shall be then living when Christ shall come; I say, what 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 335 

a cloud of them will there be, when all these are seen 
flocking together in the region of the clouds at the right 
hand of Christ ! 

And then also the work of redemption will be finished 
in another respect, viz. that then the church shall all be 
gathered together. They all belonged to one society be 
fore, but yet were greatly separated with respect to the 
place of their habitation ; some being in heaven, and 
some on earth ; and those who were on earth together 
were separated one from another, many of them by wide 
oceans, and vast continents. But now they shall all be 
gathered together, never to be separated any more. And 
not only shall all the members of the church now be 
gathered together, but all shall be gathered unto their 
head, into his immediate glorious presence, never to be 
separated from him any more. This never came to pass 
until now. 

At the same time, all wicked men and devils shall be 
brought before the judgment seat of Christ. These shall 
be gathered to the left hand of Christ, and, as it seems, 
will still remain upon the earth, and shall not be caught 
up into the air, as the saints shall be. The devil, that old 
serpent, shall now be dragged up out of hell. He, that 
first procured the fall and misery of mankind, and has 
so set himself against their redemption, and has all along 
shown himself such an inveterate enemy to the Redeem 
er; now he shall never more have any thing to do with 
the church of God, or be suffered in the least to afflict or 
molest any member of it any more for ever. Instead of 
that, now he must be judged, and receive the due reward 
of his deeds. Now is come the time which he has always 
dreaded, and trembled at the thought of; the time where 
in he must be judged, and receive his full punishment. 
He who by his temptation maliciously procured Christ s 
crucifixion, and triumphed upon it, as though he had ob 
tained the victory, even he shall see the consequences 
of the death of Christ which he procured : for Christ s 
coming to judge him in his human nature is the conse 
quence of it ; for Christ obtained and purchased this glo 
ry to himself by that death. Now he must stand before 
that same Jesus whose death he procured, to be judged, 
condemned, and eternally destroyed by him. If Satan, 
the prince of hell, trembles at the thought of it thousands 
of years beforehand, how much more will he tremble, 
proud and stubborn as he is, when he comes to stand at 
Christ s bar ! 



336 A HISTORY OF THE 

Then shall he also stand at the bar of the saints, whom 
he has so hated, and afflicted, and molested : for the 
saints shall judge him with Christ : 1 Cor. vi. 3. 
" Know ye not that we shall judge angels ?" Now shall 
he be as it were subdued under the church s feet, agree 
able to Rom. xvi. 20. Satan, when he first tempted our 
first parents to fall, deceitfully and lyingly told them, that 
they should be as gods : but little did he think that the 
consequence should be, that they should indeed be so 
much as gods, as to be assessors with God to judge him. 
Much less did he think, that that consequence would fol 
low, that one of that nature which he then tempted, 
one of the posterity of those persons whom he tempted, 
should actually be united to God, and that as God he 
should judge the world, and that he himself must stand 
trembling and astonished before his judgment seat. But 
thus all the devils in hell, who have so opposed Christ 
and his kingdom, shall now at last stand in utmost amaze 
ment and horror before Christ and his church, who shall 
appear to condemn them. 

Now also shall all Christ s other enemies be brought to 
appear before him. Now shall the wicked proud scribes 
and Pharisees, who had such a malignant hatred of Christ 
while in his state of humiliation, and who persecuted 
Christ to death, those before whose judgment seat Christ 
was once called and stood, as a malefactor at their bar, 
and those who mocked him, and buffeted him, and spit 
in his face ; now shall they see Christ in his glory, as 
Christ forewarned them in the time of it, Matt. xxvi. 64, 
65. Then Christ^was before their judgment seat ; but 
now it is their turn. They shall stand before his judg 
ment seat with inconceivable horror and amazement, 
with ghastly countenances, and quaking limbs, and chat 
tering teeth, and knees smiting one against another. 

Now also all the cruel enemies and persecutors of the 
church that have been in all ages, shall corne in sight to 
gether. Pharaoh and the Egyptians, Antiochus Epipha- 
nes, the persecuting scribes and Pharisees, the perse 
cuting heathen Emperors, Julian the apostate, the cruel 
persecuting Popes and Papists, Gog and Magog, shall all 
appear at once before the judgment seat of Christ. They 
and the saints who have in every age been persecuted 
by them, shall come in sight one of another, and must 
confront one another before the great Judge, And now 
shall the saints on their glorious thrones be made the 
judges of those unjust kings and rulers who have before 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 337 

judged and condemned them, and cruelly put them to 
death. Now shall those persecutors behold the glory to 
which they are arrived whom they before so cruelly de 
spised and so cruelly used ; and Christ will make those 
holy martyrs as it were to come and set their feet on the 
necks of their persecutors ; they shall be made their foot 
stool. 

Thus wonderfully will the face of things be altered 
from what used to be in the former times of the world ; 
now will all things be coming to rights. 

4. The righteousness of the church shall be manifest 
ed, and all the wickedness of their enemies shall be 
brought to light. Those saints who had been the objects 
of hatred, reproach, and contempt in the world, and were 
reviled and condemned by their persecutors without a 
cause, shall now be fully vindicated. They shall now 
appear clothed with the glorious robe of Christ s right 
eousness. It shall be most manifest before the world, 
that Christ s righteousness is theirs, and they shall as it 
were gloriously shine forth in it. And then also shall 
their inherent holiness be made manifest, and all their 
good works shall be brought to light. The good things 
which they did in secret shall now be manifested openly. 
Those holy ones of God, who had been treated as though 
they were the filth and offscouring of the earth, as though 
they were not fit to live upon earth, as worse than beasts 
or devils, shall now, when things shall appear as they 
are, appear to have been the excellent of the earth. Now 
God will bring forth their righteousness as the light, and 
their judgment as the noon day. And now it shall ap 
pear who were those wicked persons that were not fit 
to live, when all the wickedness of the enemies of Christ 
and his church, their pride, their malice, their cruelty, 
their hatred of true religion, shall be set forth in all the 
horrid acts of it, and with all its aggravations in its pro 
per colours. 

And now the righteous may be heard before this great 
Judge, who could not be heard before those unjust judg 
es. Now they shall declare their cause, and shall rise up 
in judgment against their persecutors, and shall declare 
how they have been treated by them. And now all the 
wickedness of the wicked of the whole world shall be 
brought to light. All their secret wickedness, and their 
very hearts, shall be opened to view, and as it were 
turned inside out before the bright light of that great 
day: and things that have been spoken in the ear, in the 



338 A HISTORiT OF THE 

closet, and done in the dark, shall be manifested in the 
light, and proclaimed before all angels and men that are, 
ever were, or shall be. 

5. The sentence shall be pronounced on the righteous 
and the wicked. Christ, the glorious judge, shall pass 
that blessed sentence on the church at his right hand, 
" Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom 
prepared for you from the foundation of the world." 
This sentence shall be pronounced with infinite Iov 7 e, and 
the voice will be most sweet, causing every heart to flow 
with joy. Thus Christ shall pronounce a sentence of 
justification on thousands and millions, who have before 
had a sentence of condemnation passed upon them by 
their persecuting rulers. He will thus put honour upon 
those who have been before despised : he will own them 
for his, and will as it were put a crown of glory upon 
their heads before the world; and then shall they shine 
forth as the sun with Jesus Christ in glory and joy, in the 
sight of all their enemies. 

And then shall the sentence of condemnation be passed 
on the wicked, " Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, 
prepared for the devil and his angels." Thus shall the 
church s enemies be condemned ; in which sentence of 
condemnation, the holy martyrs, who have suffered from 
them, shall concur. When the words of this sentence 
are pronounced, they will strike every heart of those at 
the left hand with inconceivable horror and amazement. 
Every syllable of it will be more terrible than a stream 
of lightning through their hearts. We can conceive but 
verylittle of those signs and expressions of horror which 
there will be upon it, of shrieking, quaking, gnashing of 
teeth, distortions of countenance, hideous looks, hideous 
actions, and hideous voices, through all that vast throng. 

6. Upon this Christ and all his church of saints, and 
all the holy angels ministering to them, shall leave this 
lower world, and ascend up towards the highest hea 
vens. Christ shall ascend in as great glory as he de 
scended, and in some respects greater: for now he shall 
ascend with his elect church with him, glorified in both 
body and soul. Christ s first ascension to heaven soon 
after his own resurrection was very glorious. But this 
his second ascension, the ascension of his mystical body, 
his whole church, shall be far more glorious. The re 
deemed church shall all ascend with him in a most joy 
ful and triumphant manner; and all their enemies and 
persecutors, who shall be left behind on the accursed 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 339 

ground to be consumed, shall see the sight and hear their 
songs. 

And thus Christ s church shall for ever leave this ac 
cursed world, to go into that more glorious world, the 
highest heavens, into the paradise of God, the kingdom 
that was prepared for them from the foundation of the 
world. 

7. When they are gone, this world shall be set on fire, 
and be turned into a great furnace, wherein all the ene 
mies of Christ and his church shall be tormented forever 
and ever. This is manifest by 2 Pet. iii. 7. " But the 
heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word 
are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of 
judgment, and perdition of ungodly men." When Christ 
and his church are ascended to a distance from this 
world, that miserable company of wicked being left be 
hind, to have their sentence executed upon them here, 
then, some way or other, this whole lower world shall 
be set on fire, either by fire from heaven, or by fire 
breaking out of the bowels of the earth, or both, as it 
was with the water in the time of the deluge. However, 
this lower world shall be set all on fire. How will it 
strike the wicked with horror, when the fire begins to 
lay hold upon them, and they find no way to escape it, 
or flee or hide from it ! What shrieking and crying will 
there be among those many thousands and millions, 
when they begin to enter into this great furnace, when 
the whole world shall be a furnace of the fiercest and 
most raging heat ! insomuch that the Apostle Peter says, 
(2 Pet. iii. 10. 12.) that "the heavens shall pass away 
with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fer 
vent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein 
shall be burnt up ;" and that the " heavens being on fire 
shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fer 
vent heat." And so fierce shall be its heat, that it shall 
burn the earth into its very centre; which seems to be 
what is meant, Deut. xxxii. 22. " For a fire is kindled in 
my anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall 
consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the 
foundations of the mountains." 

And here shall all the persecutors of the church of God 
burn in everlasting fire, who have before burnt the saints 
at the stake, and shall suffer torments far beyond all that 
their utmost wit and malice could inflict on the saints. 
And here the bodies of all the wicked shall burn, and be 
tormented to all eternity, and never be consumed ; and 



340 A HISTORY OF THE 

the wrath of God shall be poured out on their souls. 
Though the souls of the wicked in hell do now suffer 
dreadful punishment, yet their punishment will be so in 
creased at the day of judgment, that what they suffered 
before, is, in comparison of it, as an imprisonment to the 
execution which follows it. And now the devil, that old 
serpent, shall receive his full punishment; now shall that 
which he before trembled for fear of, fully corne upon 
him. This world, which formerly used to be the place 
of his kingdom, where he set up himself as God, shall 
now be the place of his complete punishment, and full 
and everlasting torment. 

And in this, one design of the work of redemption 
which has been mentioned, viz. putting Christ s enemies 
under his feet, shall be perfectly accomplished. His ene 
mies shall now be made his footstool, in the fullest de 
gree. Now shall be the most perfect fulfilment of that 
in Gen. iii. 15. "It shall bruise thy head." 

8. At the same time, all the church shall enter with 
Christ, their glorious Lord, into the highest heaven, and 
there shall enter on the state of their highest and eternal 
blessedness and glory. While the lower world, which 
they have left under their feet, is seized with the fire of 
God s vengeance, and flames are kindling upon it, and 
the wicked are entering into everlasting fire, the whole 
church shall enter, with their glorious head, and all the 
holy angels attending, in a joyful manner, into the eter 
nal paradise of God, the palace of the great Jehovah, 
their heavenly Father. The gates shall open wide for 
them to enter, and there Christ will bring them into his 
chambers in the highest sense. He will bring them into 
his Father s house, into a world not like that which they 
have left. Here Christ will bring them, and present 
them in glory to his Father, saying, " Here am I, and the 
children which thou hast given me ;" as much as to say, 
Here am I, with every one of those whom thou gavest 
me from eternity to take the care of, that they might be 
redeemed and glorified, and to redeem whom I have 
done and suffered so much, and to make way for the 
redemption of whom I have for so many ages been ac 
complishing such great changes. Here they are now 
perfectly redeemed in body and soul ; I have perfectly 
delivered them from all the ill fruits of the fall, and per 
fectly freed them from all their enemies : I have brought 
them all together into one glorious society, and united 
them all in myself: I have openly justified them before 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 341 

all angels and men, and here I have brought them all 
away from that accursed world where they have suffer 
ed so much, and have brought them before thy throne: 
I have done all that for them which thou hast appointed 
me : I have perfectly cleansed them from all filthiness in 
my blood, and here they are in perfect holiness, shining 
with thy perfect image. 

And then the Father will accept of them, and own 
them all for his children, and will welcome them to the 
eternal and perfect inheritance and glory of his house, 
and will on this occasion give more glorious manifesta 
tions of his love than ever before, and will admit them to 
a more full and perfect enjoyment of himself. 

And now shall be the marriage of the Lamb in the 
most perfect sense. The commencement of the glorious 
times of the church on earth, after the fall of Antichrist, 
is represented as the marriage of the Lamb ; and this 
shall be the marriage of the Lamb in the highest sense 
that ever shall be on earth: but after this we read of an 
other marriage of the Lamb, at the close of the day of 
judgment. After the beloved disciple had given an ac 
count of the day of judgment, in the close of the 20th 
chapter of Revelation, then he proceeds to give an ac 
count of what follows, in the 21st and 22d chapters; 
and in the 2d verse of the 21st chapter, he gives an 
account, that he saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, 
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And when 
Christ shall bring his church into his Father s house in 
heaven, after the judgment, he shall bring her thither as 
his bride, having there presented her, whom he loved, 
and gave himself for, to himself without spot or wrinkle, 
or any such thing. 

The bridegroom and the bride shall then enter into 
heaven, both having on their wedding robes, attended 
with all the glorious angels. And there they enter on 
the feast and joys of their marriage before the Father ; 
they shall then begin an everlasting wedding day. This 
shall be the day of the gladness of Christ s heart, where 
in he will greatly rejoice, and all the saints shall rejoice 
with him. Christ shall rejoice over his bride, and the 
bride shall rejoice in her husband, in the state of her con 
summate and everlasting blessedness, of which we have 
a particular description in the 21st and 22d chapters of 
Revelation. 

And now the whole work of redemption is finished. 
We have seen how it has been carrying on from the fall 
29* 



342 



A HISTORY OF THE 



of man to this time. But now it is complete with respect 
to all that belongs to it. Now the top stone of the build 
ing is laid. In the progress of the discourse on this sub 
ject, we have followed the church of God in all the great 
changes, all her tossings to and fro that she has been 
subject to, in all the storms and tempests through the 
many ages of the world, until at length we have seen an 
end to all these storms. We have seen her enter the 
harbour, and landed in the highest heavens, in complete 
and eternal glory, in all her members, soul and body. 
We have gone through time, and the several ages of it, 
as the providence of God, and the word of God, have led 
us ; and now we have issued into eternity after time 
shall be no more. We have seen all the church s ene 
mies fixed in endless misery, and have seen the church 
presented in her perfect redemption before the Father in 
heaven, there to enjoy this most unspeakable and incon 
ceivable glory and blessedness; and there we leave her 
to enjoy this glory throughout the never ending ages of 
eternity. 

Now all Christ s enemies will be perfectly put under 
his feet, and he shall have his most perfect triumph over 
sin and Satan, and all his instruments, and death, and 
hell. Now shall all the promises made to Christ by God 
the Father before the foundation of the world, the pro 
mises of the covenant of redemption, be fully accom 
plished. And Christ shall now perfectly have obtained 
the joy that was set before him, for which he undertook 
those great sufferings which he underwent in his state 
of humiliation. Now shall all the hopes and expecta 
tions of the saints be fulfilled. The state of things that 
the church was in before, was a progressive and pre 
paratory state : but now she is arrived to her most per 
fect state of glory. All the glory of the glorious times 
of the church on earth is but a faint shadow of this her 
consummate glory in heaven. 

And now Christ the great Redeemer shall be most 
perfectly glorified, and God the Father shall be glorified 
in him, and the Holy Ghost shall be most fully glorified 
in the perfection of his work on the hearts of all the 
church. And now shall that new heaven and new earth, 
or that renewed state of things, which had been building 
up ever since Christ s resurrection, be completely finish 
ed, after the very material frame of the old heavens and 
old earth are destroyed : Rev. xxi. 1. " And I saw a new 
heaven, and a new earth: for the first heaven arid the 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 343 

first earth were passed away." And now will the great 
Redeemer have perfected every thing that appertains to 
the work of redemption, which he began so soon after 
the fall of man. And who can conceive of the triumph 
of those praises which shall be sung in heaven on this 
great occasion, so much greater than that of the fall of 
Antichrist, which occasions such praises as we have de 
scribed in the 19th chapter of Revelation! The beloved 
disciple John seems to want expressions to describe 
those praises, and says, " It was as the voice of many 
waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, 
Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." But 
much more inexpressible will those praises be, which 
will be sung in heaven after the final consummation of 
all things. Now shall the praises of that vast and glori 
ous multitude be as mighty thunderings indeed ! 

And now how are all the former things passed away, 
and what a glorious state are things fixed in to remain 
to all eternity ! And as Christ, when he first entered 
upon the work of redemption after the fall of men, had 
the kingdom committed to him of the Father, and took 
on himself the administration of the affairs of the uni 
verse, to manage all so as to subserve the purposes of 
this affair ; so now, the work being finished, he will de 
liver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, 1 Cor. xv. 
24. " Then cometh the end, when he shall have deliver 
ed up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he 
shall have put down all rule, and all authority and pow 
er." Not that Christ shall cease to reign or have a king 
dom after this ; for it is said, Luke i. 33. " He shall reign 
over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom 
there shall be no end." So in Dan. vii. 14. " That his 
dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not 
pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be de 
stroyed." But the meaning is, that Christ shall deliver 
up that kingdom or dominion which he has over the 
world, as the Father s delegate or vicegerent, which the 
Father committed to him, to be managed in subservi 
ency to this great design of redemption. The end of this 
commission, or delegation, which he had from the Father, 
seems to be to subserve this particular design of redemp 
tion; and therefore, when that design is fully accom 
plished, the commission will cease, and Christ will de 
liver it up to the Father, from whom he received it. 



344 A HISTORY OF THE 



IMPROVEMENT OP THE WHOLE. 



I PROCEED now to enter upon some improvement of the 
whole that has been said from this doctrine. 

I. Hence we may learn how great a work this work 
of redemption is. We have now had it in a very imper 
fect manner set forth before us, in the whole progress of 
it, from its first beginning after the fall, to the end of the 
world, when it is finished. We have seen how God has 
carried on this building from the first foundation of it, 
by a long succession of wonderful works, advancing it 
higher and higher from one age to another, until the top 
stone is laid at the end of the world. And now let us 
consider how great a work this is. Do men, when they 
behold some great palaces or churches, sometimes ad 
mire their magnificence, and are almost astonished to 
consider how great a piece of work it was to build such 
an house] Then, how well may we admire the greatness 
of this building of God, which he builds up age after age, 
by a series of such great things which he brings to- pass? 
There are three things that have been exhibited to us in 
what has been said, which do especially show the great 
ness of the work of redemption. 

1. The greatness of those particular events, and dis 
pensations of providence, by which it is accomplished. 
How great are those things which God has done, which 
are but so many parts of this great work ! What great 
things were done in the world to prepare the way for 
Christ s coming to purchase, and what great things were 
done in the purchase of redemption ! What a wonder 
ful thing was that which was accomplished to put Christ 
in an immediate capacity for this purchase, viz. his in 
carnation, that God should become man ! And what 
great things were done in that purchase, that a person 
who is the eternal Jehovah, should live upon earth for 
four or five and thirty years together, in a mean despised 
condition, and that he should spend his life in such la 
bours and sufferings, and that at last he should die upon 
the cross ! And what great things have been done to 
accomplish the success of Christ s redemption! what 
great things to put him into a capacity to accomplish 
this success ! For this purpose he rose from the dead, 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 345 



and ascended up into heaven, and all things were made 
subject to him. How many miracles have been wrought, 
what mighty revolutions have been brought to pass in 
the world already, and how much greater shall be 
brought to pass, in order to it ! 

2. The number of those great events by which God 
carries on this work, shows the greatness of the work. 
Those mighty revolutions are so many as to fill up 
many ages. The particular wonderful events by which 
the work of creation was carried on filled up six days : 
but the great dispensations by which the work of re 
demption is carried on, are so many, that they fill up six or 
seven thousand years at least, as we have reason to con 
clude from the word of God. There were great things 
wrought in this affair before the flood, and in the flood 
the world was once destroyed by water, and God s 
church was so wonderfully preserved from the flood in 
order to carry on this work. And after the flood, what 
great things did God work relating to the resettling of 
the world, to the building of Babel, fne dispersing of the 
nations, the shortening of the days of man s life, the call 
ing of Abraham, the destruction of Sodom and Gomor 
rah, and that long series of wonderful providences relat 
ing to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph, and those 
wonders in Egypt, and at the Red sea, and in the wild 
erness, and in Canaan in Joshua s time, and by a long 
succession of wonderful providences from age to age, 
towards the nation of the Jews ! 

What great things were wrought by God, in so often 
overturning the world before Christ came, to make way 
for his coming ! What great things were done also in 
Christ s time, and then after that in overturning Satan s 
kingdom in the heathen empire, and in so preserving his 
church in the dark times of Popery, and in bringing 
about a Reformation ! How many great and wonderful 
things will be effected in accomplishing the glorious 
times of the church, and at Christ s last coming on the 
day of judgment, in the destruction of the world, and in 
carrying the whole church into heaven. 

3. The glorious issue of this whole affair, in the per 
fect and eternal destruction of the wicked, and in the 
consummate glory of the righteous. And now let us 
once more take a view of this building, now all is finish 
ed and the top stone laid. It appeared in a glorious 
height in the apostles time, and much more glorious in 
the time of Constantine and will appear much more glo 



846 A HISTORY OP THE 

rious still after the fall of Antichrist; but at the consum 
mation of all things, it appears in an immensely more 
glorious height than ever before. Now it appears in its 
greatest magnificence, as a complete lofty structure, 
whose top reaches to the heaven of heavens ; a building 
worthy of the great God, the King of kings. 

And from what has been said, one may argue, that 
the work of redemption is the greatest of all God s works 
of which we have any notice, and it is the end of all his 
other works. It appears plainly from what has been 
said, that this work is the principal of all God s works of 
providence, and that all other works of providence, are 
reducible hither; they are all subordinate to the great 
affair of redemption. We see that all the revolutions in 
the world are to subserve this grand design ; so that 
the work of redemption is, as it were, the sum of God s 
works of providence. 

This shows us how much greater the work of redemp 
tion is, than the work of creation : for I have several 
times observed, that the work of providence is greater 
than the work of creation, because it is the end of it; as 
the use of an house is the end of the building of the 
house. But the work of redemption, as I have just said, 
is the sum of all God s works of providence; all are sub 
ordinate to it: so the work of the new creation is more 
excellent than the old. So it ever is, that when one 
thing is removed by God to make way for another, the 
new one excels the old. Thus the temple excelled the 
tabernacle ; the new covenant the old ; the new dispen 
sation of the gospel the dispensation of Moses ; the throne 
of David the throne of Saul; the priesthood of Christ the 
priesthood of Aaron ; the new Jerusalem the old ; and so 
the new creation far excels the old. 

God has used the creation which he has made, for no 
other purpose but to subserve the designs of this affair. 
To answer this end, he hath created and disposed of 
mankind, to this the angels, to this the earth, to this the 
highest heavens. God created the world to provide a 
spouse and a kingdom for his Son : and the setting up of 
the kingdom of Christ, and the spiritual marriage of the 
spouse to him, is what the whole creation labours and 
travails in pain to bring to pass. This work of redemp 
tion is so much the greatest of all the works of God, 
that all other works are to be looked upon either as parts 
of it, or appendages to it, or are some way reducible to 
it ; and so all the decrees of God do some way or other 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 347 

belong to that eternal covenant of redemption which was 
between the Father and the Son before the foundation 
of the world. Every decree of God is some way or 
other reducible to that covenant. 

And seeing this work of redemption is so great a 
work, hence we need not wonder that the angels desire 
to look into it. And we need not wonder that so much 
is made of it in scripture, and that it is so much insisted 
on in the histories, and prophecies, and songs of the 
Bible; for the work of redemption is the great subject 
of the whole, of its doctrines, its promises, its types, its 
songs, its histories, and its prophecies. 

II. Hence we may learn how God is the Alpha and 
Omega, the beginning and ending of all things. Such 
are the characters and titles we find often ascribed to 
God in scripture, in those places where the scripture 
speaks of the course of things, and series of events in 
providence : Isa. xli. 4. " Who hath wrought and done 
it, calling the generations from the beginning] I the 
Lord the first, and with the last, I am he." And partic 
ularly does the scripture ascribe such titles to God, 
where it speaks of the providence of God, as it relates to, 
and is summed up in the great work of redemption ; as 
Isa. xliv. 6, 7. and xlviii. 12. with the context, beginning 
with the 9th verse. So God eminently appears as the 
first and the last, by considering the whole scheme of 
divine providence as we have considered it, viz. as all 
reducible to that one great work of redemption. 

And therefore, when Christ reveals the future great 
events of providence relating to his church and people, 
and this affair of redemption, to the end of the world, to 
his disciple John, he often reveals himself under this 
character. So Rev. i. 8. " I am Alpha and Omega, the 
beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and 
which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." So 
again, verses 10, 11. "I heard behind me a great voice 
as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first 
and the last." Alpha and Omega are the names of the 
first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, as A and Z 
are of ours ; and therefore it signifies the same as his 
being the first and the last, and the beginning and the 
ending. 

Thus God is called in the beginning of this book of 
Revelation, before the course of the prophecy begins; 
and so again he is called at the end of it, after the course 
of events is gone through, and the final issue of things 



348 A HISTORY OF THE 

is seen : as Rev. xxi. 6. " And he said unto me, It is 
done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the 
end." And so chap. xxii. 12, 13. "And behold, I come 
quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man 
according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, 
the beginning and the end, the first and the last." 

We haVe seen how this is true in the course of what 1 
have laid before you upon this subject. We have seen 
how things were from God in the beginning; on what 
design God began the course of his providence in the 
beginning of the generations of men upon the earth ; 
and we have seen how it is God that has all along car 
ried things on agreeable to the same designs without 
ever failing; and how at last the conclusion and final 
issue of things are to God ; and so we have seen how all 
things are of him, and through him, and to him ; and 
therefore may well now cry out with the apostle, Rom. 
xi. 33. " O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and 
knowledge of God ! how unsearchable are his judgments, 
and his ways past finding out !" and verse 36. " For of 
him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to 
whom be glory for ever. Amen." 

We have seen how other things came to an end one 
after another; how states, and kingdoms, and empires, 
one after another, fell and came to nothing, even the 
greatest and strongest of them ; we have seen how the 
world has been often overturned, and will be more re 
markably overturned than ever it has been yet; we 
have seen how the world comes to an end, how it was 
first destroyed by water, arid how at last it shall be ut 
terly destroyed by fire : but yet God remains the same 
through all ages. He was before the beginning of this 
course of things, and he will be after the end of them ; 
agreeable to Psa. cii. 25, 26. Thus God is he that is, and 
that was, and that is to come. 

We have seen, in a variety of instances, how all other 
gods perish ; we have seen how the ancient gods of the 
heathen in the nations about Canaan, and throughout the 
Roman empire, are all destroyed, and their worship long 
since overthrown ; we have heard how Antichrist, who 
has called himself a god on earth, and how Mahomet, 
who claims religious honours, and how all the gods of 
the heathen through the world, will come to an end ; and 
how Satan, the great dragon, that old serpent, who has 
set up himself as god of this world, will be cast into the 
lake of fire, there to suffer his complete punishment : but 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 349 

Jehovah remains, and his kingdom is an everlasting king 
dom, and of his dominions there is no end. We have 
seen what mighty changes there have been in the world 
but God is unchangeable, " the same yesterday, to-day, 
and forever." 

We began at the head of the stream of divine provi 
dence, and have followed and traced it through its vari 
ous windings and turnings, until we are come to the end 
of it, and we see where it issues. As it began in God, so 
it ends in God. God is the infinite ocean into which it 
empties itself. Providence is like a mighty wheel, whose 
circumference is so high that it is dreadful, with the glo 
ry of the God of Israel above upon it ; as it is represent 
ed in Ezekiel s vision. We have seen the revolution of 
this wheel, and how, as it was from God, so its return 
has been to God again. All the events of divine provi 
dence are like the links of a chain ; the first link is from 
God, and the last is to him. 

III. We may see by what has been said, how Christ 
in all things has the pre-eminence. For this great work 
of redemption is all his work : he is the great Redeemer, 
and therefore the work of redemption being as it were 
the sum of God s works of providence, this shows the 
glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, as being above all, and 
through all, and in all. That God intended the world for 
his Son s use in the affair of redemption, is one reason 
that is to be given why he created the world by him, 
which seems to be intimated by the apostle in Eph. iii. 
9-12. What has been said, shows how all the purposes 
of God are purposed in Christ, and how he is before all 
and above all, and all things consist by him, and are gov 
erned by him, and are for him, Colos. i. 15, 16, if, 18. 
We see by what has been said, how God makes him his 
first-born, higher than the kings of the earth, and sets 
his throne above their thrones ; how God has always up 
held his kingdom, when the kingdoms of others have 
come to an end ; how that appears at last above all, how 
ever greatly opposed for so many ages ; how finally all 
other kingdoms fell, and his kingdom is the last king 
dom, and is a kingdom that never gives place to any 
other. 

We see, that whatever changes there are, and howev 
er highly Christ s enemies exalt themselves, that yet fi 
nally all his enemies become his footstool, and he reigns 
in uncontrolled power and immense glory: in the end 
his people are all perfectly saved and made happy, and 
30 



S5O A HISTORY OF THE 

his enemies all become his footstool. And thus God gives 
the world to his Son for his inheritance. 

IV. Hence we may see what a consistent thing divine 
providence is. The consideration of what has been said, 
may greatly serve to show us the consistency, order, and 
beauty, of God s works of providence If we behold the 
events of providence in any other view than that in which 
it has been set before us, it will all look like confusion, 
like a number of jumbled events coming to pass without 
any order or method, like the tossing of the waves of the 
sea ; things will look as though one confused revolution 
came to pass after another, merely by blind chance, with 
out any regular or certain end. 

But if we consider the events of providence in the 
light in which they have been set before us under this 
doctrine, in which the scriptures set them before us, they 
appear far from being jumbled and confused, an orderly 
series of events, all wisely ordered and directed in ex 
cellent harmony and consistence, tending all to one end. 
The wheels of providence are not turned round by blind 
chance, but they are full of eyes round about, as Ezekiel 
represents, and they are guided by the Spirit of God : 
where the Spirit goes, they go : and all God s works of 
providence through all ages meet in one at last, as so 
many lines meeting in one centre. 

It is with God s work of providence, as it is with his 
work of creation ; it is but one work. The events of 
providence are not so many distinct, independent works 
of providence, but they are rather so many different parts 
of one work of providence : it is all one work, one regu 
lar scheme. God s works of providence are not disunited 
and jumbled without connexion or dependence, but are 
all united, just as the several parts of one building: 
there are many stones, many pieces of timber, but all are 
so joined, and fitly formed together, that they make but 
one building : they have all but one foundation, and are 
united at last in one top stone. 

God s providence may not unfitly be compared to a 
large and long river, having innumerable branches, begin 
ning in different regions, and at a great distance one from 
another, and all conspiring to one common issue. After 
their very diverse and contrary courses which they held 
for a while, yet they all gather more and more together, 
the nearer they come to their common end, and all at 
length discharge themselves at one mouth into the same 
ocean. The different streams of this river are apt to ap- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 351 

pear like mere jumble and confusion to us, because of the 
limitedness of our sight, whereby we cannot see from 
one branch to another, and cannot see the whole at once, 
so as to see how all are united in one. A man who sees 
but one or two streams at a time, cannot tell what their 
course tends to. Their course seems very crooked, and 
different streams seem to run for a while different and 
contrary ways: and if we view things at a distance, 
there seem to be innumerable obstacles and impediments 
in the way to hinder their ever uniting, and coming to 
the ocean, as rocks and mountains, and the like; but yet 
if we trace them, they all unite at last, and all come to 
the same issue, disgorging themselves in one into the 
same great ocean. Not one of all the streams fails of 
coming hither at last. 

V. FVom the whole that has been said, we may strong 
ly argue, that the scriptures are the word of God, because 
they alone inform us what God is about, or what he aims 
at, in these works which he is doing in the world. God 
doubtless is pursuing some design, and carrying on some 
scheme, in the various changes and revolutions which 
from age to age come to pass in the world. It is most 
reasonable to suppose, that there is some certain great de 
sign to which Providence subordinates all the great suc 
cessive changes in the affairs of the world which God 
has made. It is reasonable to suppose, that all revolu 
tions, from the beginning of the world to the end of it, 
are but the various parts of the same scheme, all con 
spiring to bring to pass that great event which the great 
Creator and Governor of the world has ultimately in 
view ; and that the scheme will not be finished, nor the 
design fully accomplished, and the great and ultimate 
event fully brought to pass, until the end of the world, 
and the last revolution is brought about. 

Now there is nothing else that informs us what this 
scheme and design of God in his works is, but only the 
holy scriptures. Nothing else pretends to set in view the 
whole series of God s works of providence from begin 
ning to end, and to inform us how all things were from 
God at first, and for what end they are, and how they 
were ordered from the beginning, and how they will pro 
ceed to the end of the world, and what they will come to 
at last, and how then all things shall be to God. Nothing 
else but the scriptures has any pretence for showing any 
manner of regular scheme or drift in those revolutions 
which God orders from age to age. Nothing else pre- 



352 A HISTORY OF THE 

tends to show what God would by the things which he 
has done, and is doing, and will do ; what he seeks and 
intends by them. Nothing else pretends to show, with 
any distinctness or certainty, how the world began at 
first, or to tell us the original of things. Nothing but the 
scriptures sets forth how God governed the world from 
the beginning of the generations of men upon the earth, 
in an orderly history; and nothing else sets before us 
how he will govern it to the end, by an orderly prophecy 
of future events; agreeable to the challenge which God 
makes to the gods, and prophets, and teachers of the hea 
then, in Isa. xli. 22, 23. " Let them bring them forth, 
and shew us what shall happen : let them shew the for 
mer things what they be, that we may consider them, 
and know the latter end of them ; or declare us things 
for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereaf 
ter, that we may know that ye are gods." 

Reason shows, that it is fit and requisite, that the in 
telligent and rational beings of the world should know 
something of God s scheme and design in his works ; for 
they doubtless are the beings that are principally con 
cerned. The thing that is God s great design in his 
works, is doubtless something concerning his reasonable 
creatures, rather than brute beasts and lifeless things. 
The revolutions by which God s great design is brought 
to pass, are doubtless revolutions chiefly among them, 
and which concern their state, and not the state of things 
without life or reason. And therefore surely it is requi 
site, that they should know something of it; especially 
seeing that reason teaches, that God has given his ra 
tional creatures reason, and a capacity of seeing God in 
his works ; for this end, that they may see God s glory 
in them, and give him the glory of them. But, how can 
they see God s glory in his works, if they do not know 
what God s design in them is, and what he aims at by 
what he is doing in the world? 

And further, it is fit that mankind should be informed 
something of God s design in the government of the 
world, because they are made capable of actively falling 
in with that design, and promoting of it, and acting 
herein as his friends and subjects ; it is therefore reason 
able to suppose, that God has given mankind some reve 
lation to inform them of this:"but there is nothing else 
that does it but the Bible. In the Bible this is done. 
Hence we may learn an account of the first original of 
things, and an orderly account of the scheme of God s 



WORK OP REDEMPTION. 353 

works from the first beginning, through those ages that 
are beyond the reach of all other histories. Here we 
are told what GocJ aims at in the whole, what is the 
great end, how he nas contrived the grand design he 
drives at, and the great things he would accomplish by 
all. Here we have a most rational excellent account of 
this matter, worthy of God, and exceedingly shewing 
forth the glory of his perfections, his majesty, his wis 
dom, his glorious holiness, and grace, and love, and his 
exaltation above all, showing how he is the first and the 
last. 

Here we are shown the connexion of the various parts 
of the work of providence, and how all harmonises, and 
is connected together in a regular, beautiful, and glori 
ous frame. In the Bible, we have an account of the 
whole scheme of providence, from the beginning of the 
world to the end of it, either in history or prophecy, and 
are told what will become of things at last ; how they 
will be finished off by a great day of judgment, and will 
issue in the subduing of God s enemies, and in the sal 
vation and glory of his church, and setting up of the 
everlasting kingdom of his Son. 

How rational, worthy, and excellent a revelation is 
this ! and how excellent a book is the Bible, which con 
tains so much beyond all other bocks in the world ! and 
what characters are here of its being indeed a divine 
book ! a book that the great Jehovah has given to man 
kind for their instruction, without which we should be 
left in miserable darkness and confusion. 

VI. From what has been said, we may see the glori 
ous majesty and power of God in this affair of redemp 
tion : especially is God glorious in power. His glorious 
power appears in upholding his church for so long a 
time, and carrying on this work ; upholding it often 
times when it was but as a little spark of fire, or as 
smoking flax, in which the fire was almost gone out, and 
the power of earth and hell were combined to destroy it. 
Yet God has never suffered them to quench it, and 
finally will bring forth judgment unto victory. God glo 
rifies his strength in his church s weakness; in causing 
his people, who are like a number of little infants, finally 
to triumph over all earth and hell; so that they shall 
tread on the lion and adder; the young lion and dragon 
shall they trample under foot. The glorious power of 
God appears in conquering his many and mighty ene 
mies by that person who was once an infant in a man- 
30* 



354 A HISTORY OF THE 

ger, and appeared as a poor, weak, despised man. He 
conquers them, and triumphs over them in their own 
weapon, the cross. 

The glorious majesty of God appears in conquering 
all those mighty enemies of the church one age after an 
other; in conquering Satan that proud and strong spi 
rit, and all his hellish host; in bringing him down under 
foot, long after he had vaunted himself as god of this 
world, and when he did his utmost to support himself in 
his kingdom. 

God s power gloriously appears in conquering Satan 
when exalted in that strongest and most potent heathen 
kingdom that ever he had, the Roman empire. Christ, 
our Michael, has overcome him, and the devil was cast 
out, and there was found no more place for him in hea 
ven ; but he was cast out unto the earth, and his angels 
were cast out with him. Again, his power gloriously 
appears in conquering him in that kingdom wherein his 
pride, and subtlety, and cruelty, above all appear, viz. 
the kingdom of Antichrist. It gloriously appears in con 
quering him in that greatest and strongest combination 
and opposition of the devil and his adherents against 
Christ and his church, just before the fall of Antichrist, 
wherein his visible kingdom has a fatal blow given it, 
on which an universal downfall of it follows all over the 
world. 

The glorious power of God appears in thus conquer 
ing the devil, and bringing him under foot, time a fter 
time, after Jong time given him to strengthen himself to 
his utmost, as he was once overthrown in his heathen 
Roman empire, after he had been making himself strong 
in those parts of the world, ever since the building of 
Babel. It appears also in overthrowing his kingdom 
more fatally and universally all over the world, after he 
had again another opportunity given him to strengthen 
himself to his utmost for many ages, by setting up those 
two great kingdoms of Antichrist and Mahomet, and to 
establish his interest in the heathen world. We have 
seen how these kingdoms of God s enemies, that, before 
God appears, look strong, as though it was impossible to 
overthrow them ; yet, time after time, when God ap 
pears, they seem to melt away, as the fat of lambs before 
the fire, and are driven away as the chaff before the 
whirlwind, or the smoke out of the chimney. 

Those mighty kingdoms of Antichrist and Mahomet, 
which have made such a figure for so many ages to 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 355 

gether, and have trampled the world under foot, when 
God comes to appear, will vanish away like a shadow, 
and will as it were disappear of themselves, and come to 
nothing, as the darkness in a room does, when the light 
is brought in. What are God s enemies in his hands] 
How is their greatest strength weakness when he rises 
up! and how "weak will they all appear together at the 
day of judgment ! Thus we may apply those words in 
the song of Moses, Exod. xv. 6. " Thy right hand, O 
Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O 
Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy." And how 
great doth the majesty of God appear in overturning the 
world from time to time, to accomplish his designs, and 
at last in causing the earth and heavens to flee away, 
for the advancement of the glory of his kingdom! 

VII. From what has been said, we may see the glori 
ous wisdom of God. It shows the wisdom of God in 
creating the world, in that he has created it for such an 
excellent use, to accomplish in it so glorious a work. 
And it shows the wisdom of divine Providence, that he 
brings such great good out of such great evil, in making 
the fall and ruin of mankind, which in itself is so sor 
rowful and deplorable, an occasion of accomplishing such 
a glorious work as this work of redemption, and of 
erecting such a glorious building, whose top should 
reach unto heaven, and of bringing his elect to a state 
of such unspeakable happiness. And how glorious doth 
the wisdom of God appear in that long course and series 
of great changes in the world, in bringing such order 
out of confusion, in so frustrating the devil, and so won 
derfully turning all his most subtle machinations to his 
own glory, and the glory of his Son Jesus Christ ! and 
in causing the greatest works of Satan, those in which 
he has most glorified himself, to be wholly turned into 
occasions of so much the more glorious triumph of his 
Son Jesus Christ ! And how wonderful is the wisdom 
of God, in bringing all such manifold and various changes 
and overturnirigs in the world to such a glorious period 
at ast, and in so directing all the wheels of providence 
by his skilful hand, that every one of them conspires, as 
the m.mifold wheels of a most curious machine, at last 
to strike out such an excellent issue, such a manifesta 
tion of the divine glory, such happiness to his people, and 
such a glorious and everlasting kingdom to his Son ! 

VIII. From what has been said, we may see the sta 
bility of God s mercy and faithfulness to his people; how 



856 



A HISTORY OP THE 



he never forsakes his inheritance, and remembers his 
covenant to them through all generations. Now we 
may see what reason there was for the words of the 
text, " The moth shall eat them up like a garment, and 
the worm shall eat them like wool ; but my righteous 
ness shall endure for ever and ever, and my salvation 
from generation to generation." And now we may see 
abundant reason for that name of God which he reveals 
to Moses, Exod. iii. 14. " And God said unto Moses, I 
am that I am ;" i. e. I am the same that I was when I en 
tered into covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
and ever shall be the same ; I shall keep covenant for 
ever: I am self-sufficient, all-sufficient, and immutable. 

And now we may see the truth of that, Psa. xxxvi. 
5, 6. "Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy 
faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteous 
ness is like the great mountains ; thy judgments are a 
great deep." And if we consider what has been said, 
we need not wonder that the Psalmist, in the 136th 
Psalm, so often repeats this, For his mercy endureth for 
ever ; as if he were in an ecstasy at the consideration of 
the perpetuity of God s mercy to his church, and delight 
ed to think of it, and knew not how but continually to 
express it. Let us with like pleasure and joy celebrate 
the everlasting duration of God s mercy and faithfulness 
to his church and people, and let us be comforted by it 
under the present dark circumstances of the church of 
God, and all the uproar and confusions that are in the 
world, and all the threatenings of the church s enemies. 
And let us take encouragement earnestly to pray for 
those glorious things which God has promised to accom 
plish for his church. 

IX. Hence we may learn how happy a society the 
church of Christ is. For all this great work is for them. 
Christ undertook it for their sakes, and for their sakes he 
carries it on, from the fall of man to the end of the world ; 
it is because he has loved them with an everlasting love. 
For their sakes he overturns states and kingdoms. For 
their sakes he shakes heaven and earth. He gives men 
for them, and people for their life. Since they have been 
precious in God s sight, they have been honorable ; and 
therefore he first gives the blood of his own Son to them, 
and then ; for their sakes, gives the blood of all their ene 
mies, many thousands and millions, all nations that stand 
In their way, as a sacrifice to their good. 

For their sakes he made the world, and for their sakes 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 357 

he will destroy it : for their sakes he built heaven, and 
for their sakes he makes his angels ministering spirits. 
Therefore the Apostle says, as he does, 1 Cor. iii. 21. &c. 
" All things are yours : whether Paul, or Apollos, or Ce 
phas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, 01 
things to come ; all are yours." How blessed is this peo- 

Ele who are redeemed from among men, and are the first 
uits unto God, and to the Lamb ; who have God in all 
ages for their protection and help ! Deut. xxxiii. 29. 
"^lappy art thou, O Israel : who is like unto thee, O peo 
ple saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is 
the sword of thy excellency ! and thine enemies shall be 
found liars unto thee, and thou shalt tread upon their 
high places." 

Let who will prevail now, let the enemies of the church 
exalt themselves as much as they will, these are the peo 
ple that shall finally prevail. The last kingdom shall fi 
nally be theirs ; the kingdom shall finally be given into 
their hands, and shall not be left to other people. We 
have seen what a blessed issue things shall finally be 
brought to as to them, and what glory they shall arrive 
at, and remain in possession of, for ever and ever, after 
all the kingdoms of the world are come to an end, and 
the earth is removed, and mountains are carried into the 
depth of the sea, or where the sea was, and this lower 
earth shall all be dissolved. O happy people, and blessed 
society ! Well may they spend an eternity in praises and 
hallelujahs to him who hath loved them from eternity, 
and will love them to eternity. 

X. And, lastly, hence all wicked men, all that are in a 
Christless condition, may see their exceeding misery. 
You that are such, whoever you are, you are those who 
shall have no part or lot in this matter. You are never 
the better for any of those things of which you have 
heard : yea, your guilt is but so much the greater, and 
the misery you are exposed to so much the more dread 
ful. You are some of that sort, against whom God, in 
the progress of the work, exercises so much manifest 
wrath ; some of those enemies who are liable to be made 
Christ s footstool, and to be ruled with a rod of iron, and 
to be dashed in pieces. You are some of the seed of the 
serpent, to bruise the head of which is one great design 
of all this work. Whatever glorious things God accom 
plishes for his church, if you continue in the state you 
are now in, they will not be glorious to you. The most 
glorious times of the church are always the most dismal 



358 A HISTORY OF THE 

times to the wicked and impenitent. This we are taught 
in Isa. Ixvi. 14. And so we find, wherever glorious 
things are foretold concerning the church, there terrible 
things are foretold concerning the wicked, its enemies. 
And so it ever has been in fact ; in all remarkable deliv 
erances wrought for the church, there has been also a re 
markable execution of wrath on its enemies. So it was 
when God delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt ; 
at the same time he remarkably poured out his wrath on 
Pharaoh and the Egyptians. So when he brought them 
into Canaan by Joshua, and gave them that good land, 
he remarkably executed wrath upon the Canaanites. So 
when they were delivered out of their Babylonish cap 
tivity, signal vengeance was inflicted on the Babylonians. 
So when the Gentiles were called, and the elect of God 
were saved by the preaching of the apostles, Jerusalem 
and the persecuting Jews were destroyed in a most aw 
ful manner. I might observe the same concerning the 
glory accomplished to the church in the days of Constan- 
tine, at the overthrow of Satan s visible kingdom in the 
downfall of Antichrist, and at the day of judgment. 
In all these instances, and especially in the last, there 
have been, or will be, exhibited most awful tokens of the 
divine wrath against the wicked. And to this class you 
belong. 

You are indeed some of that sort that God will make 
use of in this affair; but it will be for the glory of his 
justice, and not of his mercy. You are some of those 
enemies of God who are reserved for the triumph of 
Christ s glorious power in overcoming and punishing 
them. You are some of that sort that shall be consumed 
with this accursed world after the day of judgment, 
when Christ and his church shall triumphantly and glo 
riously ascend to heaven. 

Therefore let all that are in a Christless condition 
amongst us seriously consider these things, and not be 
like the foolish people of the old world, who would not 
take warning, when Noah told them, that the Lord was 
about to bring a flood of waters upon the earth ; or like 
the people of Sodom, who would not regard, when Lot 
told them, that God would destroy that city, and would 
not flee from the wrath to come, and so were consumed 
in that terrible destruction. 

And now I would conclude my whole discourse on 
this subject, in words like those in the last of the Reve 
lation : " These sayings are faithful and true, and bless- 



WORK OF REDEMPTION. 359 

ed is he that keepeth these sayings. Behold, Christ com- 
eth quickly, and his reward is with him, to render to 
every man according as his work shall be. And he that 
is unjust, shall be unjust still ; and he that is filthy, shall 
be filthy still ; and he that is holy, shall be holy still. 
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they 
may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in 
through the gates into the city: for without are dogs, 
and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and 
idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. He 
that testifieth these things, saith, Surely I come quickly. 
Amen : even so come, Lord Jesus." 



THE END. 



8821 



NOV 3